(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed on a one-year contract for the upcoming 2015 season with free-agent right-handed pitcher Matt Belisle (pronounced beh-LYLE).
Belisle, 34, brings added veteran experience to the Cardinals bullpen, having made 70 or more relief appearances in four of the last five seasons, including a National League-leading 80 in 2012. Belisle ranks 2nd in the majors in games pitched (367) since 2010 and his 91 Holds in that five-year span rank 10th in all of baseball.
The 6-4, 225-pound Belisle was 4-7 with a 4.87 ERA in 66 games for the Colorado Rockies last season, allowing just 19 walks in his 64.2 innings pitched. He has compiled a career mark of 48-54, 4.41 ERA in 524 games (724.1 IP) with Cincinnati (2003, 2005-08) and Colorado (2009-14) and his 92 career Holds with the Rockies rank 2nd in franchise history.
A native of Austin, Texas, Belisle has shown excellent command, allowing fewer than 20 walks in each of the past seven seasons and he’s posted a 2.2 walks/9 IP ratio over his career. Belisle was used exclusively as a starter by Cincinnati in 2007 when he made 30 of his 44 career starts. He won a career single-season high 10 games for the Rockies in 2011 to lead all Major League relievers.
Belisle joins recently-acquired right-handed reliever Jordan Walden (trade with Atlanta) in the Cardinals bullpen plans for 2015.