Rays Add Belisario, Sizemore
Recapping the past few days in Rays transactions.
The move with immediate big-league ramifications happened following Tuesday’s defeat, as the Rays optioned C.J. Riefenhauser to Durham and purchased the contract of Ronald Belisario.
Belisario has enjoyed past big-league success, even closing for a time in 2014 with the White Sox (albeit due to their lack of alternatives rather than his merit). His best attribute is a high-quality sinker that can miss bats and barrels, leading to solid ground-ball percentages. Alas, the rest of his profile is barren, as he lacks a good secondary pitch and/or command. The Rays have already had another traditional one-pitch reliever (Ernesto Frieri) impersonate Jeff Montgomery this year, so it’s possible Belisario does the same. Based on his poor strikeout rate in Durham, the Rays would be doing well if Belisario serves as an effective right-on-right option.
Without another move—say, Enny Romero to the disabled list or Durham—the Rays will proceed with 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster—14 if you include Jake Elmore, 15 if you add Nick Franklin.
In other news, the Rays earlier in the week signed former Phillies outfielder Grady Sizemore to a minor-league deal.
Aside from last year’s 60-game stretch, Sizemore hasn’t been an above-average hitter since 2009. Injuries are largely to blame, though not for his recent woes. Rather it would appear that Sizemore’s problems stem in part from an overaggressive approach. (And before anyone brays about regression, he hit .245/.288/.296 with a .320 batting average on balls in play; it’s not that simple.) The best-case scenario sees Sizemore return to his 2014 form, when he was a tolerable platoon outfielder; the worst-case sees him never make the majors. He wouldn’t appear to have a clear path to the majors—not with David DeJesus healthy and John Jaso making progress in rehab—so God knows what the plan is here.