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Hong-Chih Kuo

hong-chih kuo, hong-chih kuo baseball
Hong-Chih Kuo Chinese: 郭泓志; pinyin: Guō Hóngzhì; Wade–Giles: Kuo1 Hung2 Chih4; born July 23, 1981 in Tainan, Taiwan is a Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent He had previously played in Major League Baseball MLB for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions in the Chinese Professional Baseball League CPBL When Kuo made his debut in 2005, he became the fourth MLB player from Taiwan after Chin-Feng Chen, Chin-hui Tsao, and Chien-Ming Wang

Kuo pitched for Taiwan in the Asian Games and in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, allowing three earned runs in two games


  • 1 Playing career
    • 11 Los Angeles Dodgers
      • 111 2006 season
      • 112 2007 season
      • 113 2008 season
      • 114 2009 season
      • 115 2010 season
      • 116 2011 season
    • 12 Seattle Mariners
    • 13 Chicago Cubs
    • 14 Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions
    • 15 San Diego Padres
  • 2 Pitching style
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Playing careeredit

Los Angeles Dodgersedit

Kuo was signed as a free agent by the Dodgers on June 19, 1999, for a bonus of $125 million,1 but elbow problems prevented him from participating with the team He underwent two Tommy John surgeries in 2000 and 2003, respectively2 It wasn't until 2005 that Kuo was able to pitch again on a consistent basis That year, he pitched 11 games for the Vero Beach Dodgers and 17 games for the Jacksonville Suns before coming out of the bullpen for his Major League debut on September 2, 2005, against the Colorado Rockies

2006 seasonedit

Kuo started the 2006 season as a relief pitcher After giving up eight earned runs on 15 walks in only 13 innings pitched in April, he was sent down to the Dodgers' AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s That May and June in AAA he posted a 375 ERA in Las Vegas in 12 innings, striking out 18, but walking eight He was called up by the Dodgers in June Over June and July 2006, Kuo had a 574 ERA in 141 innings pitched

Back in Las Vegas for most of July, the Dodgers decided to start Kuo rather than have him work out of the bullpen, hoping that the increased innings would give him a chance to improve his control, and that ample rest between appearances would protect his fragile elbow His ERA in July was 519, with 17 Ks and eight BB in 171 IP However, in his last start of the month, he had his longest appearance in several years, pitching five shutout innings Kuo built upon that with a 114 ERA in five August starts, striking out 28 in 232 innings

On September 8, 2006, Kuo made his first start in the major leagues after more than 30 relief appearances In his debut, he tossed six shutout innings and led the Dodgers to a 5–0 victory over the New York Mets His next three starts were largely successful, and Kuo ended the season with a 259 ERA as a starter

2007 seasonedit

A spring training injury kept Kuo from starting the 2007 season in the Dodgers' rotation, but he eventually reclaimed his starting pitcher role

On June 12, 2007, Kuo hit a 412-foot home run and became the first Taiwanese player to hit a home run in MLB3 The Dodgers won 4–1 in that game Kuo picked up his first win of the season with that game

2008 seasonedit

Kuo started the season competing with Esteban Loaiza for the fifth starter spot in the Dodgers rotation Off-season elbow surgery raised doubts about his endurance, so Kuo was made a long-reliever by manager Joe Torre He has also served in middle relief and set-up

Against the New York Mets on May 6, Kuo came in during the fourth inning in relief of Hiroki Kuroda, and pitched 3 ⅔ scoreless innings without giving up a hit, striking out 8 of the 12 batters he faced, and securing his second victory of the year Kuo recorded his first career save on August 14 against the Phillies when he pitched two scoreless innings without allowing a hit

Kuo finished the 2008 season with a 5–3 record, appeared in 42 games, three games as a starter and 39 games in relief, and accumulated an overall ERA of 214 with 96 strikeouts in 80 innings Kuo led all National League relievers with an ERA of 169 In his 39 relief appearances, he allowed only 49 hits in 69 ⅓ innings, striking out 86 batters, while limiting the opposition to a 204 average

A triceps injury forced him to miss the last 15 games of the regular season, but he recovered in time for the National League Championship series and was activated on October 9 He appeared in three games during the Championship series, logging three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run, while striking out three

Kuo was named the 2008 Setup Man of the Year, voted by the fans on MLBcom as part of the website's This Year in Baseball Awards4

2009 seasonedit

Kuo began the 2009 season in the Dodgers' bullpen but injured his elbow and was placed on the disabled list on May 2 He did not rejoin the team until July 27 but returned to form and pitched in 35 games for the Dodgers' bullpen, ending with an ERA of 300

2010 seasonedit

Kuo greeted by teammates after getting Miguel Cabrera to tap out to Kuo with the bases loaded in 2010

Kuo in the first half pitched in middle relief, breaking the record, giving 0 hits for 36 consecutive left bats The performance earned him a spot in the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a replacement for Jason Heyward, thus becoming the first Taiwanese-born player to be so honored In the second half of the season Kuo replaced Jonathan Broxton as the Dodgers closer after Broxton struggled in the role

On October 3, 2010, Kuo pitched a scoreless 9th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, earning his 12th save of the season while setting a new Dodgers franchise record in finishing the season with an ERA of 120, the record for minimum of 50 innings pitched Eric Gagne held the previous record at 12025

Kuo finished the 2010 season with a 3–2 record and led all Major League relievers with a 120 ERA In 56 appearances out of the bullpen, he pitched 600 innings, struck out 73, walked 18 405 strikeout to walk ratio while converting 12 saves in 13 chances6

2011 seasonedit

Following the 2010 campaign, Kuo was throwing with about 50 or 60 percent effort during the off-season without stopping at the behest of the Dodgers medical staffcitation needed As Kuo typically experiences elbow problems during spring training each year, it was suggested that the off-season throwing exercises would help him avoid the disabled list at the start of the season7 However, Kuo struggled early on He spent some time on the DL with a back strain and in nine games he had an 1157 ERA On May 11, the Dodgers put him back on the disabled list with what they termed an "anxiety disorder" Manager Don Mattingly said he did not know when Kuo would be able to pitch again8 He did eventually rejoin the Dodgers on August 10 but continued to pitch poorly down the stretch Kuo finished the season 1–2 with a career-high ERA of 900 in 27 innings pitched At the end of the season, he remarked that he was undecided about if he wanted to continue playing9

Following the season, Kuo developed soreness in his left elbow while preparing to play in an exhibition series against the Taiwan National Team and had to undergo his fifth operation on the elbow10 He became a free agent when the Dodgers declined to tender him a contract on December 12

Seattle Marinersedit

On February 6, 2012, Kuo signed a one-year non-guaranteed deal with the Seattle Mariners11 He was released on March 1912

Chicago Cubsedit

Kuo signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs on June 4, 201213 However, he was released on July 6

Uni-President 7-Eleven Lionsedit

Kuo pitching for the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of CPBL in 2013

Kuo signed with Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of CPBL in September 201314 He became a free agent after the 2016 season

San Diego Padresedit

Kuo signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on February 17, 201715 He was released on March 29, 2017

Pitching styleedit

Despite the five surgeries on his elbow, Kuo at his peak hit 97-98 mph with his four-seam fastball with late movement He throws a sharp slider ranging in 86–88 mph, occasionally a curveball, and a changeup For a power pitcher, Kuo is quick to the plate His velocity and pitch execution makes him difficult to hit Also, he does not surrender many home runs Kuo's command has steadily improved, and he has maintained an excellent strikeout to walk ratio 405 in 2010


  1. ^ Ken Gurnick August 23, 2010 "Resilient Kuo reaping rewards" MLBcom Archived from the original on April 25, 2011 Retrieved August 25, 2010 
  2. ^ Plunkett, Bill April 21, 2006 "Dodgers believe Kuo still on course" Orange County Register Retrieved September 8, 2006 
  3. ^ Gurnick, Ken June 13, 2007 "Kuo adds long ball to long journey" MLBcom Archived from the original on May 11, 2008 Retrieved June 13, 2007 
  4. ^ "Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo voted by fans as 2008 Setup Man of the Year" MLBcom Press release December 18, 2008 Archived from the original on February 7, 2009 Retrieved December 30, 2008 
  5. ^ Ken Gurnick October 3, 2010 "Dodgers roll to win in Torre's final game" MLBcom Press release Archived from the original on October 6, 2010 Retrieved October 3, 2010 
  6. ^ Stacie Wheeler December 12, 2011 "Dodgers Non-Tender Kuo 郭泓志" Lasorda's Lair Archived from the original on January 12, 2012 Retrieved April 22, 2014 
  7. ^ Ken Gurnick February 18, 2011 "Kuo feeling great after throwing all offseason" MLBcom Archived from the original on July 14, 2011 Retrieved February 23, 2011 
  8. ^ "Dodgers put Hong-Chih Kuo on the disabled list with anxiety disorder" Los Angeles Times May 11, 2011 Archived from the original on May 15, 2011 Retrieved May 12, 2011 
  9. ^ "Kuo undecided about future in baseball" MLBcom September 28, 2011 Archived from the original on October 1, 2011 Retrieved September 29, 2011 
  10. ^ Ken Gurnick October 26, 2011 "Kuo to undergo yet another surgery on Friday" MLBcom Archived from the original on October 1, 2011 Retrieved October 27, 2011 
  11. ^ Jayson Stark February 6, 2012 "Seattle Mariners sign Hong-Chih Kuo" ESPNcom Archived from the original on April 21, 2014 Retrieved February 6, 2012 
  12. ^ "Mariners Release LHP Hong-Chih Kuo" Press release March 19, 2012 Archived from the original on April 21, 2014 Retrieved March 20, 2012 
  13. ^ Aaron Gleeman Jun 4, 2012 "Cubs sign Hong-Chih Kuo to minor-league contract" NBC Sports Archived from the original on May 28, 2013 Retrieved April 22, 2014 
  14. ^ http://wwwwbscorg/news/baseball-news/ex-mlb-pitcher-kuo-hong-chih-returns-home-joins-cpbl-lions/
  15. ^ http://wwwsandiegouniontribunecom/sports/padres/sd-sp-kuo-20170218-storyhtml

External linksedit

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference Minors

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