Tag:Hong-Chih Kuo
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:33 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 5:46 pm
 

Mariners to sign Hong-Chih Kuo

Hong-Chih KuoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Mariners have agreed signed left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo to a one-year deal, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman confirms. The contract is for $500,000, but becomes $1 million if Kuo makes the active roster and could grow to $2.25 million with incentives.

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Kuo, 30, was dominant from 2008-2010 with the Dodogers, putting up a 1.96 ERA over those three seasons in 133 games and a WHIP of 0.953, striking out 201 batters in 170 innings. Last year, though, Kuo struggled and was put on the disabled list twice, once for back strain and another stint with what was described as an anxiety disorder. Kuo appeared in 40 games and had an ERA of 9.00 in 27 innings. While his strikeout rate stayed high, striking out 36 of the 127 batters he faced, but had 23 walks, the most he had since 2006, despite pitching in the fewest innings since his first year in the United States. His WHIP was 1.741 after recording a 0.783 WHIP in 2010.

Kuo has a history of elbow injuries, undergoing multiple injuries on his left elbow throughout his career, including one after the 2011 season.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 4:41 pm
 

Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt top free agents left



By C. Trent Rosecrans


With Prince Fielder finally off the market, we're officially in free-agent left-over time, with most of the big-name, big-money guys enjoying new contracts.

So, who is left? That's a good question. The best players available are starting pitchers -- with Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt leading the charge -- but in our free-agent tracker, only one position player (Derrek Lee) among the top 25 free-agent position players is available, while three top 25 pitchers remain (Jackson, Oswalt, Javier Vazquez).

Here's the best player -- and the rest -- among the remaining free agents at each position as we get closer and closer to spring training:

Ivan RodriguezCatcher: Ivan Rodriguez. OK, he's a big name, a future Hall of Famer, but he's also 40 -- and a catcher. Rodriguez, 156 hits from 3,000, adjusted to being a backup catcher last season and it's the role he'll play if he can find a team for 2012.
Others available: Jason Varitek, Ronny Paulino, Ramon Castro, Jason Kendall.

Derrek LeeFirst base: Derrek Lee. The 36-year-old finished the 2011 season in Pittsburgh and had a nice finish to the season, hitting .337/.398/.584 with seven homers in his return to the National League Central after struggling in Baltimore for most of the first half of the season. However, he did miss nearly a month after breaking a bone in his left wrist shortly after joining the Pirates. Lee could retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reported.
Others available: Casey Kotchman, Conor Jackson, Ross Gload, Russell Branyan.

Jeff KeppingerSecond base: Jeff Keppinger. The Giants non-tendered the 31-year-old infielder who struggled in his 56 games in San Francisco. Keppinger hit just .255/.285/.333 as the team's everyday second baseman, well off his career .281/.332/.388 line. Keppinger brings versatility with the ability to play any of the infield positions, and he's also played in the outfield. He could be a fit with the Mariners, Yankees or Rays.
Others available: Aaron Miles, Carlos Guillen.

Mark TeahenThird base: Mark Teahen. Our top third baseman was recently released to make room for a 41-year-old relief pitcher, what does that tell you? The Blue Jays acquired the 30-year-old Teahen in three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and others to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Teahen hit .200/.273/.300 with the White Sox and Blue Jays, playing both corner infield and outfield spots, in addition to handling some DH duties. Another positive is that he often tweets pictures of his two adorable boxers.
Others available: Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Alex Cora.

Ryan TheriotShortstop: Ryan Theriot. Theriot is versatile, with the ability to play pretty much anywhere on the field -- but he's best suited, defensively, to second base. He started the 2011 season as the Cardinals' starter at shortstop, but there's a reason the team went out to get Rafael Furcal. He hit .271/.321/.342 for the Cardinals last season, but at this point he's likely best suited as a utility player.
Others available: Edgar Renteria, Miguel Tejada, Felipe Lopez.

Yoenis CespedesOutfield: Yoenis Cespedes. While we have J.D. Drew ranked higher, he's expected to retire soon, leaving the extremely talented Cespedes as the top available outfielder. Cespedes has just recently acquired citizenship in the Dominican Republic, so now the official courting of the Cuban center fielder can begin. The Marlins, of course, are said to be very interested, even if Cespedes is less interested in Miami. Both Chicago teams are said to have interest in him as well.
Others available: Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez, Juan Pierre, Magglio Ordonez, Corey Patterson, Rick Ankiel, Marcus Thames, Jeremy Hermida, Jay Gibbons, Milton Bradley.

Johnny DamonDesignated hitter: Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old Damon is hardly the prototypical slugging designated hitter, but he still has some value. Last season he hit .261/.326/.418 for the Rays with 16 home runs. He could be a fit in Detroit, where he hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs in 2010.
Others available: Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero.

Edwin JacksonStarting pitcher: Edwin Jackson. At 28, Jackson has already pitched for six different teams and could be looking at his seventh. With the White Sox and Cardinals, the hard-throwing right-hander went 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 31 starts and 199 2/3 innings. He struck out 148 batters while putting up a 1.437 WHIP. There are recent reports that he's willing to sign a one-year deal, and is drawing interest from the Tigers. He was 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit in 2009.
Others available: Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis, Brad Penny, Chris Young, Brandon Webb, Jon Garland, Livan Hernandez, Tim Wakefield, Scott Kazmir, Rodrigo Lopez, Kyle Davies, Ross Ohlendorf, Doug Davis.

Arthur RhodesRelief pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes turned 42 during the World Series and still appeared in 51 games during the regular season and eight more in the postseason. The left-hander had a disappointing run with the Rangers after signing a two-year deal with Texas. But he returned as part of Tony La Russa's bullpen in St. Louis, earning his first World Series ring in his 19 years in the big leagues.
Others available: Chad Qualls, Brad Lidge, Dan WheelerDamaso Marte, Michael Wuertz, Zach Duke, Javier Lopez, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Gonzalez, Todd Coffey, Shawn Camp, Scott Linebrink, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jamey Wright, Chad Durbin, Brian Tallet, Hideki Luis Ayala, Micah Owings, Dan Cortes, Sergio Mitre, Tony Pena, David Aardsma, Pat Neshek, Danys Baez, Ramon Ortiz.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:46 am
 

Pepper: Writing on wall for Guillen



By Matt Snyder


Is there any question this is Ozzie Guillen's last season as the White Sox manager? I'd say no.

The latest report is that Guillen emailed White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf two weeks ago and texted general manager Kenny Williams Tuesday morning. He received replies from neither (Chicago Sun-Times). Granted, I've never been a major-league manager (I'm willing to give it a shot, if any GMs are interested), but I'm gonna go ahead and guess that being ignored when trying to correspond with your bosses is a pretty bad sign.

Remember, in recent weeks Guillen said he wanted to stay in Chicago, but not without a contract extension. And there was a report that indicated the relationship between Guillen and Williams had been irreparably damaged.

Guillen said he's ready for anything.

‘‘My family is ready for everything,’’ he said Tuesday (Chicago Sun-Times). ‘‘It’s like when a hurricane is coming and they say, ‘Hey, it’s Venezuela now, and it’s going to be in Miami in seven days.’ We pack everything, we have everything set up, for good or for bad.’’

The two cities he used in his example aren't just gathered at random. Venezuela is his home country. He also owns a home in Miami, but ... what else is there? Why, the Marlins, of course. A team Guillen helped coach to the 2003 World Series championship before being hired by the White Sox as manager. It's also a ballclub that is said to covet Guillen and is looking for a new manager this offseason before moving into a nice, new home.

It makes too much sense, doesn't it?

Tempers (kind of) flare in L.A.: So Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo threw an errant (and it appeared accidental) pitch near the head of Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra. And then Parra hit a home run and took his sweet old time starting his home run trot. And then Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said a few words as Parra crossed the plate -- he looked more annoyed than angry, for whatever it's worth. A few Dodgers and Parra yelled back and forth while it appeared D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson said a few things, too, but then benches were warned and nothing else happened. I have to say, I'm with Ellis on this. I was watching live and sitting here thinking that it's just lame. Enough with the posturing. Play baseball.

Exit strategy? Potential new Astros owner Jim Crane has yet to be approved, even though it should have happened back in August. The approval process has been continually delayed and there are two separate camps of reports as to what the holdup is. One side says that Crane needs to accept a move to the American League West -- which would clear the way for season-long interleague play and likely an additional playoff team -- and the other says that this is not the specific holdup. Biz of Baseball wonders if Crane is just seeking a way out without being turned away by the MLB due to character concerns that have been raised during the approval process. In other words, if he backs out and uses not wanting to move to the AL as his reason, he was never turned down and saves face.

Braun accountable, even in victory: "Tonight was not a pretty game ... We didn't play well ... I think I probably played my worst 10 innings of baseball of the year ... I don't think we really deserved to win ... we really didn't play a good basball game." Those quotes are all cherry-picked from Ryan Braun's post-game comments (Brewers Blog). Oh, by the way, Braun hit a walk-off home run to win the game in the 11th. And in the parts of the above quotes I removed, Braun was saying to give all the credit to the pitching staff for keeping them in the game (the final score was 2-1). We're big fans of accountability here, so major points to Braun for not forgetting the rest of the game just because the team pulled out a victory. He could have easily only focused on being the hero in the 11th, instead he owned up to playing poorly for most of the night and instead wanted the pitchers to be viewed as the heroes of the game. That's an MVP teammate. While we're here, CBSSports.com's Scott Miller has a great feature on the Brewers. Check it out.

Great day for stat-heads: SeamHeads.com has now finished work on a Negro League database, so you can search for stats from players like Oscar Charleston, who by many accounts was one of the best players to ever play the game -- he just never had a chance to do so on the big stage due to unfortunate bigotry.

Mauer understands backlash: Joe Mauer has made quite a few commercials in the past few years and he has received some criticism over them during this season -- easily the worst of his career. He said that he understands this and he's not going to take on any more commercials for the time being (StarTribune.com).

Some "Moneyball" reviews: Here's a glowing review of the upcoming movie ... and here's a not-so-great review (he does say it's entertaining, just questions the direction taken). While I greatly respect the work of both writers, I don't really care what anyone says. I'm seeing it. If I don't like it, that's on me. 

St. Louis North? The Chicago Sun-Times floats a rumor that has the Cubs landing Reds' general manager Walt Jocketty -- who used to be the Cardinals' GM -- and then bringing Tony La Russa to manage the Cubs ... and then signing free-agent-to-be Albert Pujols. Of course, the report only said "could" and mentioned it was a scenario floated only on the Cubs' end, not mentioning whether or not all three parties would be interested in this. I personally think I have a better shot at winning the lottery than this happening.

No surgery for Dickey: Mets starting pitcher R.J. Dickey has suffered from a partially torn plantar fascia most of the season, but it has subsided enough that he won't need surgery this offseason. (MLB.com)

Happy Anniversary: On this day 25 years ago, Bo Jackson launched his first career home run ... all 475 feet of it. Also, Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg made his major-league debut 81 years ago and on this day in 2008, Carlos Zambrano threw his only career no-hitter. If you'll recall, it was a game in Milwaukee against the Houston Astros, as a hurricane moved the series. (Hardball Times)

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:10 am
 

Padilla out for season, but Broxton on way back

By Matt Snyder

The 2011 season has been one chock full of disaster for the Dodgers, so it's not surprising that two instances of good news are slightly negated by one item of bad news. Right now seems like one of those times where I ask if you want the good news or the bad news first. Since this isn't really interactive, we'll get the bad news out of the way.

One-time closer Vicente Padilla is likely out for the season after having surgery to fuse some vertebrae in his neck (MLB.com). He managed just 8 2/3 innings for the Dodgers this year, but did mix in three saves.

As for the good news, former -- and likely future -- closer Jonathan Broxton appears to be making progress. He's been on the DL since May 4 and wasn't even healthy in the few weeks leading up to that. He's ready to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment on the Dodgers expect him back before July.

Broxton, 27, is a two-time All-Star and was regarded as one of the best closers in baseball for a short time period. He dealt with inconsistency in 2010 and was pretty awful before hitting the DL this season. He has a 5.68 ERA and 1.90 WHIP in 12 2/3 innings for 2011 thus far. If he can come back fully healthy, though, his stuff is too good for him to not become effective again.

Meanwhile, Hong-Chih Kuo, who hasn't thrown since May 9 due to anxiety disorder, is feeling like he's ready to get back on the hill.

"I'm more excited than nervous, so that's a good sign," he told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

When Kuo's right in the head, he's a great weapon from the bullpen. In 2009, he had a 2.14 ERA in 80 innings. In 2010, he had a 1.20 ERA and 12 saves in 60 innings. He's struck out 10.6 hitters per nine innings throughout his career. It's seemingly just a matter of him being mentally balanced when on the mound.

So, to sum up, Padilla's done, but Broxton and Kuo are likely coming back soon. The Dodgers have had a heck of a time figuring out who to use in the late innings, so getting the two back might provide some semblance of stability by the All-Star break.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:20 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:11 pm
 

Dodgers' Padilla to have neck surgery

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Vicente PadillaThe Dodgers have announced reliever Vicente Padilla will have neck surgery on Thursday and is out an "extended period of time."

The 33-year-old right-hander hasn't pitched since May 13 when he was put on the disabled list. Padilla has no record and a 4.15 ERA in nine appearances with three saves.

The Dodgers have been using a hodgepodge of relievers in their bullpen, as seven different pitchers have recorded saves for the team this season. Lefty Scott Elbert was the latest Dodgers reliever to record a save, picking up the first of his career by recording one out against the Rockies on Sunday.

Kenley Jansen (right shoulder inflammation) and Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) are currently on rehab assignments, while closer Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise in right elbow) is expected to start a rehab assignment this week.

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Dodgers add ninth, 10th players to DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Rafael FurcalThe Dodgers disabled list has reached double-digits, as the team placed shortstop Rafael Furcal (strained oblique) and pitcher Jon Garland (right shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day disabled list.

The Dodgers have the most players on the disabled list in the majors, but infielder Juan Uribe (hip) and outfielder Marcus Thames (quadriceps) are expected to return soon. Starter Vicente Padilla has had a setback with pain in his neck, so he wasn't called up.

The Dodgers called up infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and right-hander John Ely.

Furcal returned from the DL on May 22 after suffered a fractured left thumb and was hitting just .225/.244/.300 with one home run and a stolen base in 10 games since his return. He's hitting just .212/.246/.273 in 17 games overall.

Garland is 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts. He's pitched 54 innings this year and could lose money because of his injuries. Garland is making $3.5 million this year, but would received another $3.525 million if he pitches between 150-190 innings this season and a vesting option for 2012 at $8 million if he pitches 190 innings this year.

Also on the 15-day disabled list for the Dodgers are relievers Jonathan Broxton (elbow), Blake Hawksworth (groin), Kenley Jansen (shoulder) and Hong-Chih Kuo (illness). Catcher Hecotr Gimenez (knee) is on the 60-day disabled list.

Los Angeles has just one pitcher on the 40-man roster who isn't either in the majors or on the major or minor league disabled list. That pitcher, Luis Vasquez, is currently at Class A Rancho Cucumonga.

The Twins currently have eight players on the disabled list, including two (Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka) on the 60-day disabled list.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 11:20 pm
 

Who is the Dodgers' closer?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked what appeared to be a pretty simple question before his team's game against the Rockies on Monday: Who is the Dodgers' closer?

"How do I know?" Mattingly answered, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla and Kenley Jansen are all on the disabled list.

Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal both have saves this season, but Mattingly said he'd rather keep those two pitching in the middle innings -- and as a safety net if one of his younger relievers gets in trouble and have to leave in the middle of an inning.

That leaves him with Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert and Rubby De La Rosa as the choice to close. All three have recently been called up from the minors.Combined, the three have pitched 39 1/3 innings in the big leagues -- and 30 1/3 of those belong to the lefty Elbert, who appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers in 2009.

The three have pitched well enough in their limited appearances so far.

Elbert, 25, had given up just one hit and a walk, while striking out five in four scoreless innings before Monday, when he allowed a hit and a walk, but no runs or outs in his six-pitch outing. He was rescued by Guerrier, just as Mattingly said he wanted to do.

Guerra, 25, came into Monday's game having allowed four hits and two walks in six innings, allowing two runs, while walking two and striking out four. He earned a save last week against the Astros.

De La Rosa, 22, picked up the win in his last outing, Friday against the Marlins when he allowed a run on two hits in two innings of work. It was just the second outing of his career, having made his big-league debut three days earlier with a scoreless inning against the Astros. The hard-throwing right hander was 7-2 with a 2.37 ERA and six saves last season at Class A and Double-A.

Mattingly didn't need to tip his hand Monday, as the Dodgers led 7-1 going into the ninth, a non-save situation. However, Guerra finished out the game for Los Angeles, allowing two hits, but no runs, in his inning of work.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Dodgers search for another closer

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Vicente PadillaAlready on their third closer of the season, the Dodgers will be searching for No. 4, as Vicente Padilla has been placed on the disabled list with a stiff right forearm.

Padilla will join Jonathan Broxton (bruised elbow) and Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) on the DL, along with Blake Hawksowrth (strained right groin).

The Dodgers will have to use Matt Guerrier and Kenley Jansen as their primary closers, with Mike MacDougal also in the mix. Guerrier picked up the save on Tuesday, but manager Don Mattingly has said matchups would dictate which of the two -- Guerrier or Jansen -- would close.

Los Angeles called up Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A. The right-hander has allowed 12 hits to the 17 batters he's faced this season -- for those of you not down with stats, that's not good. In 2 2/3 innings, he's given up six runs -- but hasn't walked (or struck out) a batter, so there's that.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com