Yesterday agent Paul Kinzer told Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com that Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario is unlikely to pitch this season because of visa problems in Venezuela.
However, today Belisario told a Venezuelan newspaper that he plans to report to spring training soon and his arrival has simply been delayed by a lost passport.
Here’s more from Belisario, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
I lost my passport and I have an appointment set for Friday. I passed the embassy’s medical examinations, and all I have to do is get the passport. Of course, I’ll go to spring training. As soon as I get the passport, I’ll go back to the embassy to get a visa.
Of course, when told of Belisario’s comments Kinzer replied: “That would be news to me.”
Kinzer also told Hernandez that Belisario “has gone kind of quiet” and “I haven’t heard from him in a few weeks.” All of which makes it seem sort of strange that the agent would have been so willing to speak about Belisario’s status and strongly state that the reliever was unlikely to pitch for the Dodgers this season. If they haven’t spoken for weeks, how would he know?
Also of note is that Hernandez says the reason Belisario left the Dodgers for a month last season (after reporting late to spring training thanks to via problems) was “to receive treatment in a substance-abuse program.” He returned to the team in August and proceeded to post a 7.32 ERA in 24 appearances down the stretch. So while Kinzer and Belisario being so far apart in their assessment of his status seems awfully strange, something tells me this whole thing isn’t just about a misplaced passport.