Dodgers place Hong-Chih Kuo on DL with strained back

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Dodgers setup man Hong-Chih Kuo has been injured since spring training, but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list just yesterday because he didn’t bother to tell anyone.

According to Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News, Kuo strained a muscle in his lower back in March and tried to pitch through it before the Dodgers finally asked him to take an MRI this weekend and found the root of his problems.

Kuo hit the DL before Saturday night’s game and left behind a 3.38 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. Known mostly for having great control, he’s already walked four batters in just over two innings.

“We were wondering why he was always leaving (pitches) up, up, up, all the time always up,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He had trouble getting the ball down, even in the pen. The same thing happened (Friday) when he warmed up. We had to do something.”

The Dodgers called up righty Ramon Troncoso from Triple-A Albuquerque to serve as Kuo’s temporary replacement. Right now, the club does not have a left-hander in the bullpen.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.