Hong-Chih Kuo shut down; likely headed for DL

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Kuo headshot.jpgThe Dodgers have shut down reliever Hong-Chih Kuo for the second time in the past week after he felt continued discomfort in his left elbow on Friday, reports Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“Nothing felt really bad, but it wasn’t real good as far as how it
felt,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “I don’t think he will be shut
down for an extended period of time, but we will have to see what

Kuo first complained of soreness when he was scratched from pitching in his native Taiwan two weeks ago. Though a precautionary MRI earlier this week found his elbow to structurally sound, he only has two outings under his belt this spring. Today’s setback all but guarantees that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list.

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Torre said. “It’s just the fact that we’re
this close to the end. But I’m not sure at this point.”

The 28-year-old Kuo has a long history of elbow problems, including two Tommy John surgeries. Just last season he said that he would retire before undergoing another surgery on his elbow.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.