GLENDALE, Ariz. — His arrival may have been delayed, but Ronald Belisario showed up in shape.
The reliever joined the White Sox on Saturday, three weeks after he was originally due in camp.
Even with visa issues in Venezuela, the rumor was that Belisario had been throwing on the side and would be ready to go when he joined the team. Pitching coach Don Cooper confirmed those reports and came away impressed after Belisario’s first bullpen session.
“He definitely was throwing in Venezuela because he came out here and had a nice sideline,” Cooper said. “Ball out of his hand has life, movement, sink. I’m excited. I’m saying we have another one of our guys here and a guy we’re counting on, a veteran and it’s just good all around that he’s here.”
This isn’t the first time Belisario has experienced visa issues in his career.
But his arrival in camp was even further delayed because of the political unrest occurring in Venezuela. Belisario said the embassy was closed for a week, which meant he couldn’t get his paperwork in order.
“I wasn't like, that frustrated, but you know, just a little bit, like to be here, with my teammates, because of the problems in Venezuela, but I'm happy to be here,” Belisario said. “It's pretty bad right now, you know, the situation with the president. I hope (it gets) better pretty soon.”
Belisario thinks he could be ready to pitch in a game shortly.
Cooper said Belisario would throw another bullpen session on Monday and indicated he could be in a game by Wednesday or Thursday.
“I don't think it takes that long,” Belisario said. “(One) more bullpen and I think I'll be fine. Face a couple hitters, probably five days.”