Detroit Tigers Among Teams Pursuing Reliever Ronald Belisario


Bullpen help. It is no secret that the Detroit Tigers are in the market for relief pitchers this offseason. Last week, I gave my thoughts on the possibility of the Tigers bringing in Justin Masterson as the fifth man in the starting rotation should Max Scherzer leave.

Now, it is being reported by Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press that the Detroit Tigers are among teams interested in another hot name on the free agent market, Ronald Belisario.

Belisario, 31, became a free agent after declining a minor league assignment by his then team, the Chicago White Sox on November 20th. Unfortunately for the native Venezuelan, he is also coming off the worst season of his career.

In 2014, the right-hander posted a terrible 5.56 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP. However, some believe there may have been a bit of bad luck involved.

Fangraphs, who calculates their pitcher WAR totals based on FIP, thought he was worth 0.5 wins above replacement. His walk rate was only 6.2 percent and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was far improved in 2014 compared to 2013. Cover up the ERA, and his numbers look favorable compared to most of the Tigers’ relievers.

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Furthermore, Belisario has a 3.75 ERA in five big-league seasons. He has also made at least 59 appearances every season and his fastball sits in the mid-90-m.p.h. range.

I believe Belisario is a great option for the Tigers. Say what you want about his numbers last season, but there is proof in his 2012 season with the Los Angles Dodgers, (2.54 ERA) that there is high upside there. Belisario compares best on the Tigers’ staff with Rick Porcello, who had a .234 BABIP on ground balls in 2014.

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