Add Matt Belisle's name to the list of veteran pitchers who have signed minor league deals with the Washington Nationals and received invitations to Spring Training along with Bronson Arroyo, Sean Burnett, Paolo Espinosa, Aaron Laffey and Nick Masset.
Belisle, 35, and a veteran of twelve major league seasons, pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015, going (1-1) in 34 games with a 2.67 ERA, a 3.64 FIP, 15 walks (4.01 BB/9) and 25 Ks (6.68 K/9) in 33 ⅔ innings pitched.
The one-time Atlanta Braves' draft pick, taken in the second round of the 1998 Draft, has pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies and the Cards in his major league career, starting early with the Reds before switching to relief work full time after the 2008 season.
Last year in St. Louis, Belilsle dealt with elbow issues which took led to him making just four appearances late after he went on the DL in June. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow in October.
Over the course of his career, the right-hander has thrown a total of 788 major league innings with a 4.34 ERA, a 3.82 FIP, 2.26 BB/9 and 6.85 K/9 overall and a 3.89 ERA, a 3.42 FIP, 2.23 BB/9, 7.26 K/9 and a .270/.322/.403 line against over 544 IP as a reliever.
The Nationals announced the latest signing on Twitter tonight. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the Nats tomorrow:
The #Nats have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training with RHP Matt Belisle.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) February 18, 2016