PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- It isn't unusual for players to work on their stroke in spring training. But that phrase has a whole different meaning for Tampa Bay Rays reliever Ronald Belisario, who will miss the start of the season with a fractured left shoulder which he suffered getting out of a swimming pool.
The Rays' president of baseball operations, Matt Silverman, announced Saturday that Belisario would not be able to throw "for several weeks" because of the injury to his non-pitching shoulder, which occurred at his home in Venezuela before he reported to spring training.
"He said he had an accident a month ago getting out of a swimming pool," Silverman said. "And it hadn't been checked out until he got here. It's going to push him back several weeks. We don't expect him to be ready for the beginning of the season."
Belisario signed a minor-league contract with the Rays this winter, with an invitation to spring training. He had been regarded as having a strong chance to make their big-league bullpen.
The 32-year-old right-hander spent last season with the White Sox after pitching for the Dodgers from 2009-13. He served as the White Sox closer for a few weeks in May and June but pitched himself out of that role and finished with a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances.
"He was competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster," Silverman said. "We have a number of relievers in the same situation. So the competition will be even more fierce among that group."
Manager Kevin Cash said he didn't expect the Rays to look outside their current roster for bullpen help as a result of Belisario's injury.
"At this point, I know coming in we felt very strong about the competition, about who was competing for those spots," Cash said. "So I don't see anything coming. But that could change tomorrow. We like the guys that we have in camp for sure. And we would have liked to have him ready. But we'll adjust a little bit."
Belisario left the Rays' spring-training complex after receiving treatment and was not available for comment Saturday.