From a financial standpoint, Hong-Chih Kuo in 2011 has had the best year of his life. He made $2.725 million playing baseball, nearly three times he has made in any other season, and more than the $1.25 million bonus he received when he signed with the Dodgers out of high school in 1999. But from a baseball standpoint, 2011 has been a disaster for Kuo.
The latest setback for the southpaw is an elbow injury that will keep him out of the 2011 MLB Taiwan All-Star Series, which starts next Tuesday, November 1. Roberto Baly at Vin Scully is My Homeboy has the details. Kuo was slated to start one of the games for the Chinese Taipei national team against a group of MLB players.
Kuo set a Dodgers franchise record (minimum 30 innings) in 2010 with a 1.20 ERA, and was magnificent out of the bullpen with 18 walks and 73 strikeouts in 60 innings. In 2011, amid stints on the disabled list for both a lower back injury and an anxiety disorder, Kuo had 23 walks and 36 strikeouts in 27 innings and his 9.00 ERA was the fourth-highest in the 128-year history of the Dodgers (minimum 20 innings).
He has one more year of arbitration eligibility left, but there is no chance he will get to that point. Either the Dodgers will work out an incentive-laden deal for 2012 with a low base salary or Kuo will be non-tendered on December 12.
The Taiwan series will feature five games in three cities over six days, beginning November 1. All five games will be televised on MLB Network (all times PDT):
- November 1: XinZhuang Stadium in New Taipei City, 6 p.m. PDT
- November 3: Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, 6 p.m. PDT
- November 4: Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, 6 p.m. PDT
November 5: Chengcing Lake Stadium in Kaohsiung, 2 p.m. PDT
November 6: Chengcing Lake Stadium in Kaohsiung, 6 p.m. PDT
There are no Dodgers players on the MLB team slated for Taiwan, but pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and clubhouse manager Mitch Poole will make the trip.