Belisle debuted with the Reds briefly that year, pitched (rather poorly) a year in AAA, and then spent the entire 2005 season with the Reds club. He proved to be one of our more reliable pitchers last year. Nevertheless, he has been relegated to a long-relief role for much of this season due to the acquisition of Rick White and the success of Todd Coffey. Still only 25 years old, and Belisle still has some time to develop and may prove to be a reliable guy out of our bullpen this season.
Historical Statistics (for explanations of these statistics, please see the Baseball Statistics Quicksheet in the side-bar):
Nevertheless, as he demonstrated last year, his combination of above-average control, average strikeout rates, and average-ish HR rates can result in an adequate pitching line. There were some rumors about him as a potential closer candidate last year, but his minor league numbers don't indicate much potential to become a classic (high strikeout) type of pitcher in that role. Nevertheless, there's good reason to think that he can continue to improve on his walk and hr-allowed numbers and become a very effective reliever, or even possibly a starter.
His home/away splits indicate that Belisle threw better away from home in ~40 innings per split, though his ERA did not agree, in part due to a relatively low BABIP at home. With only 40 innings in each split, I don't feel comfortable making any real conclusions.
At the time I write this (through only 15.3 innings), Belisle has substantially higher walk rates (4.1) than any of these projections, but his k-rate and hr-allowed rates are approximately in line with these numbers. A substantial issue for Matt so far this year are the relatively rare opportunities he has gotten, but given the poor performance of Rick White this year, I have to think he'll be getting more chances in the coming weeks. My hope is that he can solidify a job as a middle reliever this year, and continue in that role over the next half-decade. If he can get his walk and hr-rates under control--which may be a matter of getting frequent enough work--he can continue his work from last year and be an important contributor out of our bullpen.
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Baseball Prospectus '06 Annual
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Hardball Times '06 Annual