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Ronald Belisario third in Sporting News comeback award, qualifies for Super Two status

Belisario, who missed all of 2011 with visa issues stemming from a positive cocaine test, joins catcher A.J. Ellis as Dodgers to qualify for Super Two status.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Ronald Belisario had quite the comeback season in 2012, and was arguably the Dodgers' most reliable relief pitcher all year. For his efforts Belisario finished third in the Sporting News National League Comeback Player of the Year voting.

The award, which was voted on by National League players, went to Buster Posey, who came back from a gruesome injury in 2011 to put up a season that will likely net him the MVP award as well. Posey received 31 votes, narrowly beating first baseman Adam LaRoche of the Nationals, who received 29 votes.

Belisario received 12 votes after going 8-1 with a 2.54 ERA, with 69 strikeouts in 71 innings. He led the team with 68 appearances, and that was after serving a 25-game suspension to open the season for his positive cocaine test.

That positive test meant Belisario was unable to get a work visa in 2011, and he was stuck in Venezuela.

Though he didn't win the comeback player award, Belisario will have to settle for a raise from his $480,000 salary in 2012. Belisario qualifies for Super Two status, which grants arbitration eligibility for the top 22% of players with at least two but not yet three years of major league service time.

The cutoff to qualify for Super Two status is two years, 139 days, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, which gave Super Two status to the top 17% of such players, would have been two years, 144 days.

Belisario has two years, 151 days of service time, which means he got full credit for service time while serving his suspension in April. That is one hell of a strong union.

Six MLB players gained Super Two status under the new system that would have otherwise not qualified under the old CBA framework:

RHP Drew Storen (Was)
SS Everth Cabrera (SD)
C Josh Thole (NYM)
OF Sam Fuld (TB)
OF Tyler Colvin (Col)
3B Chris Johnson (Ari)

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who like Belisario has two years, 151 days of service time, also qualifies for Super Two status. Ellis made $490,000 in 2012. The last time the Dodgers had a player qualify for Super Two status was 2009, when both Andre Ethier and Russell Martin qualified.