Tag: Hong-Chih Kuo

Kyle Drabek

Kyle Drabek to undergo his second Tommy John surgery


Kyle Drabek’s sprained UCL will require Tommy John surgery, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Monday.

Drabek had his first Tommy John surgery in high school before the Phillies made him the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft. He was sent to Toronto in the Roy Halladay trade and he made his major league debut at the end of the 2010 season.

While Drabek was a major bust in 2011, he was back showing plenty of promise this year, particularly in the spring and in April, a month he finished 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA. Unfortunately, wildness took hold after that, possibly because something was going wrong in his elbow. At the time he was placed on the DL this month, he was 4-7 with a 4.67 ERA and an ugly 47/47 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Drabek probably won’t be back with the Jays until mid-2013. He, Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria and Joey Devine will all attempt to come back from their second Tommy John surgeries next year. It’s not at all common, but Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen and Hong-Chih Kuo are among the pitchers to have success after two Tommy Johns.

Cubs sign Hong-Chih Kuo to minor-league contract

Hong-Chih Kuo
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Hong-Chih Kuo has been looking for a new home since being released by the Mariners during spring training and the once-dominant and oft-injured left-hander has signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs.

Kuo has struggled to come back from elbow problems and anxiety issues, but when healthy was one of the best relievers in baseball with a 1.96 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 170 innings for the Dodgers from 2008 to 2010.

He was a mess last season, allowing 29 runs in 27 innings, but as far as no-risk fliers go he’s still worth a shot at age 30.

An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind

BBN Diamondbacks Dodgers Baseball

I think Yogi Berra said that. No time to check.

Anyway, we had guys throwing at each other last night in Los Angeles. No one hit anyone, however. And nothing was really settled either, because someone apparently lost count of who hit who when and apparently some slights and vendettas never die.

Clayton Kershaw threw a pitch at Ian Kennedy. Why? Because earlier Kennedy threw a pitch at Kershaw. Why? Because last fall Hong-Chih Kuo threw at Gerardo Parra’s head.  Why? Because last July Parra preened and strutted some after he hit a homer off Kuo.

Somewhere, some Old School Prestigious baseball elder could probably explain when proper justice had been meted out in all of this, but it would contradict what some other Old School Prestigious player thought. There’s rarely any consensus here. Just idiots throwing baseballs at one another and making it increasingly likely that someone will eventually get hurt.

Well, there’s comedy too. When asked about Kennedy throwing at Kershaw, Dbacks catcher Miguel Montero explained it by saying “Kershaw has a long swing, so we had to pitch him in.” Um, ok. But hey: since he lied about it, no one will get suspended I presume.

Ah, Old School Baseball.

Mariners release oft-injured reliever Hong-Chih Kuo

Hong-Chih Kuo
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Hong-Chih Kuo has been a mess all spring as he attempts to come back from elbow surgery and anxiety issues. Today the Mariners decided they’d seen enough, releasing the once-dominant left-hander.

When healthy Kuo has been one of the best relievers in baseball, logging 170 innings with a 1.96 ERA and 201 strikeouts from 2008-2010, but he coughed up 29 runs in 27 innings last season before going under the knife and got knocked around for 14 runs in 6.2 innings this spring.

Kuo’s one-year, $500,000 deal with Seattle would have jumped to $1 million if he cracked the Opening Day roster and included several million dollars in potential incentives. He was good enough recently enough that several teams will likely still be interested in taking a flier on Kuo, but he’ll almost surely have to settle for a minor-league deal and work his way back to the majors.

His most recent elbow surgery was the fifth of his career and Kuo has bounced back in the past, but at age 30 he’s a bigger question mark than ever and showed diminished velocity this month.

Running down the rosters: Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez

The Mariners have finished in last place in the AL West six of the last eight years, and while their is a shining ray of hope on the way in 2013 in the form of the Astros, they’re going to have a tough time not making it seven of nine years this season.

Felix Hernandez – R
Jason Vargas – L
Hisashi Iwakuma – R
Kevin Millwood – R
Hector Noesi – R

Brandon League – R
Shawn Kelley – R
George Sherrill – L
Hong-Chih Kuo – L
Tom Wilhelmsen – R
Shawn Camp – R
Cesar Jimenez – L

SP next in line: Blake Beavan (R), Charlie Furbush (L), Danny Hultzen (L), James Paxton (L)
RP next in line: Aaron Heilman (R), Josh Kinney (R), Chance Ruffin (R), Steve Delabar (R), Lucas Luetge (L)(Rule 5), Oliver Perez (L)

Faith in their ability to develop pitching (and turn reclamation projects into third and fourth starters) led to the Mariners’ trade of Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero. They still have plenty of pitching depth, but the club will likely be without a legitimate No. 2 starter until someone from the Hultzen-Paxton-Taijuan Walker group emerges. In the meantime, the Mariners figure to get solid pitching, but that’s simply not good enough given the state of their offense.

3B Chone Figgins – S
2B Dustin Ackley – L
RF Ichiro Suzuki – L
1B Justin Smoak – S
LF Mike Carp – L
DH Jesus Montero – R
C Miguel Olivo – R
CF Franklin Gutierrez – R
SS Brendan Ryan – R

C John Jaso – L
INF Carlos Guillen – S
INF Munenori Kawasaki – L
OF Casper Wells – R

Next in line: C Adam Moore (R), INF Luis Rodriguez (S), 3B Kyle Seager (L), 3B Alex Liddi (R), 3B-OF Vinnie Catricala (R), OF Trayvon Robinson (S), OF Michael Saunders (L), OF Carlos Peguero (L), OF Darren Ford (R), OF Mike Wilson (R)

That’s not the lineup I would use, but I’m not being consulted. In my mind, Seager’s left-handed bat is exactly what the right-handed-heavy bottom of the order needs. In going with Figgins at third base and in the leadoff spot, all of the lefties and switch-hitters are getting stacked in a row. The Mariners could bat Montero fourth or fifth instead of sixth — flip-flopping him and Smoak makes more sense than the current arrangement — but I don’t know that they’re going to want to put that much pressure on him initially.

While the starting nine appears set, the bench does have some question marks. The Mariners could carry Seager if they think they’d have enough playing time available for him. It’ll probably come down to him and Guillen for one spot and to Kawasaki and Rodriguez for the other. Seager has some experience at shortstop, but the Mariners will likely want to carry a true backup middle infielder. Wells is the heavy favorite to serve as the backup outfielder. He should start over Carp in left field against lefties.

The offense will almost certainly be improved this year, probably by a substantial margin, but there’s just so much ground to make up. The Mariners scored 556 runs last year. The other 13 AL teams averaged 735 runs. Montero’s arrival, full seasons from Ackley and Carp and a rebound from Ichiro will all help, but it’s unlikely to really start coming together for the Mariners before 2013.