Saturday, May 2, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Ronald Belisario

The Rays signed Ronald Belisario this February and he has made his way onto the Durham Bulls.  The hard throwing right hander has spent most of his career with the Dodgers, but has also spent time with the Marlins, Pirates, and White Sox.  Between 2009 and 2014 Belisario made 335 relief appearances with an ERA of 3.75, FIP of 3.59, and an ERA+ of 102.  The numbers look rather pedestrian, but two of those season were outstanding efforts by Belisario.

During his 2009 rookie season, after spending a decade in the minors, Belisario posted a 2.04 ERA, 3.51 FIP, and an ERA+ of 197.  The Dodgers used him in the playoffs that year, and while he had a rough time with the Phillies in the National League Championship Series, he had a clean slate against the Cardinals in two appearances.

His 2012 season was also a bright spot in his career.  Belisario went 8-1 with a 2.54 ERA, 3.10 FIP, and 150 ERA+.  His two proceeding years were not so great with two seasons of sub 100 ERA+.  The time was split between the Dodgers and White Sox.

Not sure if/when Belisario is going to fit into the Rays bullpen this year, but he has pitched well so far for the Bulls.  In seven games (6.2 innings) he has allowed 1 run and only 3 hits.  I am hoping to get a closer look at Belisario next week when the Bulls host the Buffalo Bisons.

Let's look at the cardboard......

Belisario has a lot more cards then I would have guessed.  His first cards started popping up in 2004 while he was a Marlins prospect.  He is a bunch of the Playoff products that year including most of the Leaf Certified, Donruss Throwbacks, Studio, Elite, and Playoff Absolute.  Upper Deck also included Belisario in a few of their products.  Between the Playoff and Upper Deck products he does have a few autographs out on the market.  All of his rookie cards and autographs from 2004 are readily available on sites like Ebay and COMC and can all be had, with a little patience, for less than $5.  

I actually do not own any of Belisario's autographs.  He does not have the best signature and all of his autographs are stickers.  Some of the autographs, like his UD Etchings card, are definitely missable, but if I had to pick one I'd go with his Leaf Certified.  The sticker blends in with the card pretty well and I liked this set.  

Plus the price seems just right.

Almost all of Belisario's other cards feature him as a member of the Dodgers.  Yes, there are a few token White Sox cards floating around out there, but most of them are Dodgers cards from the last four or five years.

Being a middle relief pitcher means that Belisario has no real inserts or autographs, but if you like some of the colored parallels they are out there to chase down.  If you decide to add a Belisario card or two to your collection it will not be a costly add and there are a ton of his cards floating around including some low numbered parallels and occasionally a plate or two.

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