UPDATE: Belisario spoke with ESPN Los Angeles on Sunday and explained his absence from camp:
“I never missed an appointment,” he said. “They gave me appointments to
go to after they said they were denying my visa. They told me to take
exams and things, and I kept going twice a week. They just said they
were denying my visa because of the DUI.”
12:03pm: Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles passes along word that right-hander reliever Donald Belisario finally showed up to Dodgers camp Saturday after a three-week battle with visa issues in Venezuela.
He secured the visa this week and is expected to begin participating in full-squad drills on Sunday. Dodgers manager Joe Torre said last week that Belisario won’t be a member of the club’s Opening Day bullpen mix, no matter how ready he is. Why? Because the right-hander missed three scheduled appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas this month that would have expedited the process of getting him to Camelback Ranch. Managers tend to shy away players who display a lack of motivation.
Nonetheless, it’s good to hear that Belisario is finally in camp and will be helping the Dodgers at some point this season. He had a 2.04 ERA in 70 2/3 innings last year.
Fresh off our “Manny Machado didn’t hustle” post, here’s one about him trying a little too hard. Machado was called for interference in the bottom of the fourth inning during Monday night’s NLCS Game 3 against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. It was actually Machado’s second attempt to interfere with Orlando Arcia during the game.
In the bottom of the second, Machado led off with a single. Cody Bellinger followed up by hitting a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who fed to Arcia. Machado slid towards Arcia enough to disrupt the play, allowing Bellinger to reach first base safely. The Brewers didn’t challenge, in part because Arcia didn’t attempt a throw.
Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth. Machado again leads off and again reaches base, this time with a walk. Bellinger hits another grounder. First baseman Jesús Aguilar snags the ball and fires to Arcia covering the second base bag. Machado slides into second base and reaches out with his right hand to mess with Arcia’s throw to first base. It succeeds, as Arcia’s throw skips past first base towards the dugout. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call, alleging slide interference (the “Chase Utley rule”). The umpires reviewed the play and agreed that Machado did indeed interfere with Arcia, so Bellinger was called out. What made Machado’s effort even worse is that Bellinger would’ve reached easily regardless, so there was no need to interfere with Arcia.
The Dodgers trail the Brewers 1-0 through the first half of the game. The Brewers got their run early thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Braun off of Walker Buehler in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín has pitched excellently for the Brewers thus far.