Friday, March 23, 2007

Kuo Cedes Spot for Fifth Starting Pitcher

It's as if the Dodgers pitchers hadn't seen what had happened to Eric Gagne at the end of his Dodger tenure. TELL THE TRAINER IF YOU FEEL A STRAIN!!!

Hong-Chih Kuo feels a strain in his arm. He doesn't tell the trainers. He pitches again.

And sure enough, Kuo will miss his next start and possibly two weeks due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder, found by a MRI scan.

The muscle strain he suffered last week will cause him to miss his next start and possibly the next couple of weeks, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Friday. With less than a week before the Dodgers break camp, that effectively takes Kuo out of the running for a starting spot that could now go to either Brett Tomko (5.14 ERA this spring) or left-hander Mark Hendrickson (5.40).

"The days are growing a little bit short to think he'll factor into that right now," Manager Grady Little said of the fifth-starter competition.

Kuo, a lefty, said he first felt the strain after giving up three home runs in a rain-shortened game against the Boston Red Sox but failed to inform Dodgers trainers about it. Kept in the dark, the team allowed Kuo to pitch Wednesday against the New York Mets. He threw four wild pitches and walked four batters in three innings.

With Rafael Furcal and Jason Repko going down this week, the Dodgers' lineup is starting to get porous. I hope Stan Conte is watching like a hawk.

This leaves Brett Tomko and Mark Hendrickson to "fight" for the last spot in the starting rotation. Both have pitched well, and poorly, this spring. Yikes.