I have been disappointed in the use of Matt Belisle since he provided a stellar performance in what has turned out to be a game that serves as an early season hinge on which the season took a turn for the better.
I remember the night well, in which we watched Williams get rocked in his second consecutive start by the Brew Crew, who jumped out to a big early lead. Enter Belisle, who was snapping off breaking balls and consistently hitting 92-93 on the heater and he kept the boys in the game. I believe it was 4+ innings of scoreless ball until a couple of inherited runners scored off his relief help. The Reds came back to win 12-8, with Phillips coming out party occurring as well. That was April 20.
Since then, the pitching has been outstanding save for the 11-0 Claussen pounding and the 8 runs Sunday (there's that Williams fellow again). But Belisle has pitched exactly twice, once 10 days later, pitching a whole inning consisting of 8 pitches. Another came on May 3, where he faced one batter and was lifted for a pinch hitter after getting the out.
One might argue that it is good starting pitching, which is certainly a factor. But what has my dander up is that he is being passed over to get Rick White in the game, who has made 6 appearances totaling 4-1/3 innings since then. Also, Dave Williams (despite my apologetic for the Reds' mindset on keeping him in the rotation) is getting starts, the Lizard is taking a turn in the rotation, while someone with better stuff than either of those is rotting in the pen.
I'm fine with Belisle in the pen if he were getting regular work and if he were not possibly a better option in the rotation than two other current members. But to keep on running White and Williams out there ahead of him? What, is he getting Freeled, too valuable to use, so we gotta save him in case a starter blows up?
What I'd really say he is getting is Reitsmaed--a kid with a good arm that is inconsistent but flashes brilliance and has two very good pitches and needs to develop a modest third pitch to be a possible solid middle of the rotation guy. So, the Reds don't know what to do with such a talent, so they jack him around because every once in a while he is ineffective and he is young. I imagine at some point this season, we will get hosed by some other team for a couple of junk prospects and Belisle will go elsewhere and thrive as Reitsma has as a set up man (not a closer, doesn't look like his gig).
Hopefully, Wayne K is in Narron's ear about getting Belisle some work and either moving him up in the rotation and sending Williams to the pen or packing, or leap frogging him over White for the setting up the setup guy gig. But get the kid out there on the mound more than twice for 1-1/3 innings over a 2-1/2 week period.