Relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
6 Total Updates since May 11, 2011
12 months ago Update 0 comments
Hong-Chih Kuo, a lefthanded pitcher from Taiwan, was one of the better relievers in the National League from 2008-2010; in the last of those years, he posted a 1.20 ERA and made the National League All-Star team.
2011 was an “annus horribilis” for him, though; he suffered through an anxiety disorder and had a 9.00 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 40 appearances (27 innings). Then he had elbow surgery at season’s end; signed by the Mariners over the winter, he was released during spring training.
Now, he has another shot at returning to the major leagues:
#Cubs have signed Hong-Chih Kuo, an All-Star in 2010, to a minor-league deal. He will report to Mesa.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) June 4, 2012
This is a low-risk, possible high-reward signing for the Cubs; if Kuo still can’t pitch he’ll be released again, but given the state of the Cubs’ bullpen, just about anyone might be of assistance.
about 1 year ago Article 0 comments
The Seattle Mariners have released reliever Hong-Chih Kuo during spring training. His future is not an easy one to figure out.
over 1 year ago Article 0 comments
The Seattle Mariners have reportedly reached a major-league deal with Hong-Chih Kuo, the oft-injured, occasionally dominant left-handed reliever.
almost 2 years ago Update 1 comment
Los Angeles Dodgers lefthanded reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who went on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder termed the “yips” over a month ago, was activated for Sunday’s game against the Astros, per the Dodgers’ official Twitter feed.
SB Nation’s Dodgers blog True Blue LA reports that Kuo had a successful rehab assignment:
After a few weeks of throwing in Arizona, Kuo pitched in four games rehab assignment, with both Single A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple A Albuquerque. During the rehab assignment, Kuo allowed two baserunners in 3 2/3 innings and struck out seven of the 14 batters he faced.
In a corresponding roster move, the Dodgers optioned reliever Ramon Troncoso to Triple-A Albuquerque. They also placed catcher Rod Barajas on the disabled list and recalled catcher A.J. Ellis, who will back up Dioner Navarro.
Via tweet from Brad Evans, fantasy sports columnist for Yahoo, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is expected to install Kuo as the team’s closer.
about 2 years ago Update 1 comment
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was making all sorts of cryptic comments about why left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo was going on the disabled list, which led to speculation that the problem could be anything from a serious health condition to a violation of copyright laws. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times solved the mystery:
I'm told Kuo's issue is psychological. Related to the yips he had a couple of years ago.
The "yips" isn't a clinical term, but that's because know nobody knows what in the heck they are. Steve Blass suffered from them when he couldn't throw a strike, and they affected Mackey Sasser when he couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher. More recent cases include Rick Ankiel when he was a pitcher, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. No one knows where they come from, but the yips have derailed more than a couple of careers. The scary news -- or good news, if you want to look at his previous comeback being a reason for optimism -- is that Kuo has had them before:
Kuo took advice from his teammates and coaches. He talked to two sports psychologists. He was sent to the Dodgers' spring-training facility, where he once misfired a pitch and drilled a trainer in the neck during a bullpen session. The trainer was at least 30 yards away, walking across an adjacent practice field.
It's a rough story for one of last season's best relievers, and it explains why Mattingly wasn't exactly sure how to phrase what was going on. No one really knows what's going on.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Hold off on dropping Blake Hawksworth from your holds-based fantasy league: it turns out that reliever Scott Elbert was recalled to the majors to replace left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
Mattingly said he can't say what's wrong with Kuo until the Dodgers get league approval.
Wait, what? And then later from Hernandez...
Are you expecting Kuo to return this year? Mattingly: "it's hard for me to answer that."
This has turned into a bit of a curiosity. Kuo had just returned from a back injury, though his minor-league rehab stints weren't the most effective outings in the world. It gets even creepier with another Dylan Hernandez tweet:
Do you think Kuo will ever pitch again? Mattingly: "Yeah, I do."
Note that the answer wasn't, "Of course, you silly man."
Elbert will be the only left-hander in a bullpen that counted an awful lot on Kuo last year, so we'll see if the Dodgers go out and get another lefty for the rest of the season.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Los Angeles Dodgers had to do a little bullpen shuffling on Wednesday with right-handed reliever Blake Hawksworth suffering a groin injury in Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. From MLB.com:
Triple-A Albuquerque reliever Scott Elbert is on his way to join the Dodgers, according to a baseball source, an indication that he is being recalled to take the place of Blake Hawksworth."
That baseball source was actually True Blue LA's Eric Stephen, who also noted that Hawksworth will become the 11th Dodger to go on the disabled list this season.
Hawksworth came over from the Cardinals for shortstop Ryan Theriot in the offseason, and he had thrown 17-1/3 innings in 2011, with a K/BB ratio of 11/7 and an ERA of 3.12. Elbert was the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 2004 draft, and he's appeared in 30 MLB games since 2008. He's always had strikeout stuff, but as his career 5.0 BB/9 ratio in the minors would indicate, he's always had problems throwing strikes. He's walked nine in 14-1/3 innings in Triple-A this year, with a 5.02 ERA.