Dodgers activate Ronald Belisario from restricted list following drug suspension

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The Dodgers announced earlier this evening that they have activated Ronald Belisario from the restricted list. Mike MacDougal was designated for assignment in a corresponding roster move.

Belisario was eligible to return after completing a 25-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy. The 29-year-old right-hander tested positive for cocaine, a drug he claims he only used once.

Belisario was an asset in the Dodgers’ bullpen as a rookie back in 2009, posting a 2.04 ERA and 64/29 K/BB ratio over 70 2/3 innings, but he had a 5.04 ERA in 55 innings in 2010 and missed two months during the season in order to receive treatment for a substance-abuse problem. He spent all of last season on the restricted list after failing to secure a work visa in his native Venezuela.

MacDougal rode a 2.05 ERA last year into a guaranteed $1 million deal this offseason, but he has an ugly 7.94 ERA and 4/6 K/BB ratio across 5 2/3 innings this season.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.