It deepened Wednesday when the Dodgers put their right-handed reliever on the restricted list.
They said it was for "personal reasons." And that’s all they said. All manager Joe Torre or vice president of communications Josh Rawitch said they even knew.
Not whether it was a family or legal or any other kind of issue. Not if he’ll be gone a day or two, or a month.
"I can’t answer because I don’t know," Torre said. "I have not been told, maybe so I can’t answer your questions."
Which is too bad, because now speculation will fly unabated. If it were simply a family issue, the Dodgers would normally announce that.
So the organization’s lack of openness -- which could be warranted for very different reasons -- will naturally lead to media outlets dusting off last summer’s news when he was arrested in Pasadena for driving under the influence.
That was partially responsible for Belisario showing up a month late from Venezuela to spring training, at which time the Dodgers also placed him on the restricted list while he remained behind in Arizona to get in shape.
His DUI was resolved in March when he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving.
Belisario was ultimately activated on April 21, and has appeared in 35 games with a 1-1 record and 3.79 ERA. If not exactly like last season when he owned a 2.04 ERA, he had still worked himself back into a valuable, late-inning spot in the bullpen’s rotation.
"This takes a big chunk out of it," Torre said. "Especially the fact that he was pretty much a seventh- eighth- ninth-inning guy. Hopefully (Travis) Schlichting can pick up some of the slack."
The rookie Schlichting was likely headed back to triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Carlos Monasterios, who was activated Wednesday, until the mystery of Belisario unfolded.
Torre said Belisario had been nothing but a good citizen since his return in April.
"He hasn’t been an issue," he said. "No disciplinary stuff has gone on. He’s been here for us every day.
"I had no hint of this, and had no conversation regarding this with him."
Torre said he had been warned after Tuesday’s game by general manager Ned Colletti that something was brewing with Belisario.
Now, he said, the Dodgers just have to march on and wait to see what happens with the hard-throwing Belisario.
"We don’t have him," Torre said. "It’s like an injury. You can’t take time to get back on your feet, you have to do it right now."
-- Steve Dilbeck