Late-arriving Belisario may return soon

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre told reporters before the team's game in Cincinnati on Tuesday night that reliever Ronald Belisario could join the club as early as Wednesday.

"Belisario is closer,'' Torre said. "We could see him tomorrow or the next day.''

After Tuesday's game, the Dodgers announced pitcher Jon Link, who made his major league debut in relief earlier in the evening, was being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque, presumably to make room for Belisario's arrival.

Belisario arrived five weeks late to spring training because of difficulty obtaining a visa to enter the U.S. from his native Venezuela. He was placed on the restricted list on March 27, a move that removed him temporarily from the 40-man roster, but he has to be activated no later than Sunday.

Belisario has been pitching in extended spring training in Glendale, Ariz. He recently pitched on back-to-back days for the first time, which probably was the final hurdle to proving he was ready for major league competition.

As a rookie last season, Belisario became one of the Dodgers' most reliable middle relievers, posting a 2.04 ERA in 69 appearances. A 40-man roster spot already was cleared for Belisario on Sunday when the Dodgers designated veteran right-hander Russ Ortiz for assignment.

In other news, Torre said the club would wait until at least Thursday or Friday before activating reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who has been on the 15-day disabled list all season with left-elbow soreness and pitched a perfect inning in each of his two rehabilitation appearances at high Single-A Inland Empire last week.

Tony Jackson, reporting from Glendale, Ariz., covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.