35-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Hong-Chih Kuo in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Hong-Chih Kuo Contract Information:
One-year deal with the Mariners in February of 2012.
Kuo was released by the Cubs on Friday.
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Hong-Chih Kuo Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Hong-Chih Kuo: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Hong-Chih Kuo.
Big things were expected from Kuo coming off a dominant 2010 season (1.20 ERA, 73:18 K:BB in 60 innings), but it all fell apart for the southpaw in 2011. As usual, Kuo dealt with left elbow problems that ultimately led to his fifth career elbow surgery in October. What really limited him to 36.2 innings, however, was an anxiety disorder that appeared directly related to his 9.00 ERA and 7.67 BB/9IP. Kuo signed a one-year deal with the Mariners in February to try and resurrect his career.
Kuo managed to avoid significant DL time in 2010, pitching in a career-high 56 games. Ex-manager Joe Torre managed Kuo's workload pretty well, avoiding too many back-to-back appearances and it paid off in the form of a 1.20 ERA. Kuo finished with 12 saves after taking over closer duties from Jonathan Broxton in August. He'll be back in the LA bullpen in 2011, though his role will likely have to be sorted out in the spring as it probably hinges on how Broxton bounces back from a poor second half.
Kuo missed nearly three months of the season with elbow problems, but upon returning in late July, posted a 2.19 ERA the rest of the way to finish with a 3.00 mark in 30 innings. That's typical Kuo, both in terms of the injuries (he's had four elbow operations) and performance. When healthy, he's as electric as they come from the left side. The Dodgers will hope for more of the same in 2010, preferably with a few more innings.
Kuo was brilliant in 2008, posting a 2.14 ERA in 80 innings while striking out 96 and walking just 21 while allowing a mere four home runs. As usual however, Kuo did have some elbow problems late in the year, limiting his innings to 3.2 in September, but when healthy, he was nearly unhittable, both against right-handers (.205 BAA) and left-handers (.202). Kuo will carry warning flags again in 2009, but even as a non-closing reliever (we don't see a return to the rotation), he'll be a nice source of ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts.
Kuo continued to feed his reputation as a highly-talented, but injury-prone pitcher in 2007. He managed just 50.1 innings between Triple-A Las Vegas and the Dodgers, walking 22 and striking out 55. Kuo managed six starts for the Dodgers before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery of the non-Tommy John variety in July. When healthy, his stuff is that of a No. 2 starter, but he already has two Tommy John surgeries under his belt and it seems unlikely that he'll contribute much in 2008.
Two Tommy John surgeries and a minor league career as a reliever later, Kuo has transformed himself into a starting pitcher. Kuo has a very live arm, bringing his fastball up in the 95 mph range at times, and he's worked hard to improve his command that failed him for his first stint with the club, but improved dramatically in September (42:9 K:BB in 32.1 innings). Depending on how the rotation shakes out this spring, Kuo will either open as the team's No. 5 starter or be the first Triple-A promotion when the injury bug strikes. There will always be the concern that his elbow could pop again, but Kuo is someone to keep a close eye on due to his strikeout ability.
Kuo has endured not one but two Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgeries and still can dial it up to 98-99 mph on the radar gun. The Dodgers converted him to relief work to preserve his arm. So far, the results have borne fruit. At each level he's pitched, Kuo has struck out more than a batter per inning, but he's also walked a ton of batters. Still, as he develops he could be a valuable late-inning weapon for the Dodgers.
Had a brief debut with Vero Beach in 2002 at the age of 21. Had elbow ligament surgery at the age of 18 and is being handled with kid gloves as a result. He is a product of one of the best Asian scouting programs in baseball.