May 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario (54) delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The White Sox won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
This is a good, solid move by the White Sox, and the numbers produced by Belisario in ’14 back this decision up.
A 6-4, 240-pound right-handed pitcher, Belisario just didn’t produce for the White Sox in a majority of his outings this past season for the White Sox, leading to this change in the lineup.
In his only season with the White Sox, Belisario (who signed last December with the White Sox) was 4-8 as a reliever in 62 appearances. In that time, he finished with a 5.56 ERA in a total of 66.1 innings on the mound.
Belisario finished with just eight saves as the White Sox even used him as a closer in their closer by committee rotation in ’14. That wasn’t a good experiment for anyone involved, as the White Sox never did quite find a player to take over as the full-time closer in ’14.
As a free agent signing this past offseason, Belisario became a White Sox pitcher with much better numbers than what he showed. In ’13 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, his ERA was 3.97 in 68 innings.
Belisario’s strikeout numbers were about the same from ’14 to ’13 with 47 strikeouts this past season, compared to 49 in ’13. His WAR (wins above replacement) numbers haven’t been that great the past two seasons, with a -0.6 WAR in ’13 and -1.4 WAR in ’14.
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Maybe Belisario will find whatever he was missing in ’14 sometime this offseason, and who knows what will happen with his career. But for now, the White Sox are looking to make vast changes to a poor bullpen, and this is just one of the few moves this team has made thus far.
Earlier this week, the White Sox added LHP Zach Duke to their bullpen via free agency. Duke signed a three-year, $15 million deal.
It is about time the White Sox start taking this bullpen a bit more seriously. Maybe the changes they make this offseason will really make a difference for the ’15 season, because the bullpen from last year really hurt the White Sox and cost the team some wins.