GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The return of Ronald Belisario again has dealt a blow to the career of Ramon Troncoso.
The Dodgers on Thursday designated Troncoso for assignment. Troncoso was out of options and obviously had no chance to make the Opening Day roster.
The timing of the move was necessitated by the need to clear a 40-man roster spot for the activation of Belisario off the restricted list, which was required by MLB rules to take place Thursday. Belisario, however, will begin a 25-game suspension for violating the MLB drug program on Opening Day.
Belisario also is out of options, so once he serves his suspension, he either will be activated onto the Major League roster or would need to clear waivers before he can be sent to the Minor Leagues.
The 29-year-old Troncoso, after needing four seasons in the Dominican Rookie League, seemed headed to a promising career with he posted a 2.72 ERA in 73 appearances in 2009. But early in '10, with Belisario on the restricted list for reporting late to Spring Training, Troncoso assumed an exhaustive workload, and his sinker hasn't been the same. He made only five appearances with the Dodgers last year.
Troncoso was competing for the final long-relief spot in the bullpen. That competition now is among Jamey Wright, Josh Lindblom, John Grabow, Angel Guzman, Wil Ledezma, Fernando Nieve and Scott Rice.
According to general manager Ned Colletti, Wright and Grabow have opt-out clauses they can trigger on Sunday, which gives the Dodgers until Mar. 30 to guarantee their Major League salaries or grant their releases.