Belisario discusses fractured left shoulder

Veteran reliever, non-roster invitee expects to return within three weeks

Belisario discusses fractured left shoulder

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Ronald Belisario addressed the media on Sunday, a day after the Rays announced that the veteran right-hander had sustained a fractured left shoulder, which was discovered when he took his physical.

According to Belisario, the injury occurred approximately a month ago, days after he finished pitching winter ball. It happened when he was swimming with his daughter in the pool at his house in Venezuela.

"I was going up," Belisario said. "The pool is kind of low, and I was going up, and the pool has a little lip on the side. And I hit it with my left shoulder. But I didn't think it was that bad. Since I started throwing, I feel the pain. I didn't know it was a fracture."

Belisario signed with Tampa Bay following the accident. When asked to explain why he did not notify the Rays of his problem, Belisario said, "No, they sent me a contract back home. I thought [the injury], it was like, nothing. Didn't know it was a fracture."

Normally, free agents and traded players must take physicals prior to any deals becoming official. Rays executive president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said players signing Minor League contracts aren't generally asked to have physicals prior to signing.

If Belisario makes the team, he will earn a $1.5 million salary.

Belisario elaborated further on the circumstance of his injury, noting that he took some time to rest after pitching winter baseball.

"I got done playing like a month ago, so I took like a vacation," Belisario said. "Just enjoy my family."

Because he was not working out, Belisario explained that he really didn't get to feel how much the left shoulder (his non-throwing shoulder) affected him until he began to throw harder to prepare for Spring Training. He said he felt "way better" on Sunday.

"I think I'll be back pretty soon," Belisario said. "Two weeks, three weeks, depends how it feels. Then we start doing some exercise, some throwing stuff."

Belisario, 32, looked like a good candidate to earn a spot in the bullpen this spring. He speculated that he would be pitching in games by April 15. He went 4-8 with a 5.56 ERA for the White Sox in 2014.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.