Hong-Chih Kuo looked good pitching middle relief for the Dodgers yesterday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I watched the 6th and 7th innings where Kuo had 5 K's in the 2 innings. The most impressive part about Kuo's performance was striking out the heart of the Dbacks lineup - Luis Gonzales, Tony Clark, and Troy Glaus. Kuo's fastball was clocked between 91 and 94 mph, but he had no problems blowing the fastball past those guys. Kuo also exhibited the occasional, but effective 12-6 curveball that was around 76-78 mph. I'm still waiting to see the 98 to 99 mph cheese that he's shown this year in Jacksonville. This performance by Kuo is a great sign after he had given up that towering shot to Bonds the other night. It shows that Kuo has some tough mental resolve and fortitude that will allow him to succeed at this level.
Well, Chin-Feng Chen's 7 year contract with the Dodgers is officially over. Rumor has it, that Chen will pursue a career in Japan if he is not invited back next season for spring training. Personally, I think it's time for Chen to move on. The Dodgers organization has shown that it is going with younger prospects and that Chen's window of opportunity has closed. Should Chen leave for the NPB, the Pacific League would be ideal for showcasing Chen's bat, as the DH rule is still in effect.
Taiwan will begin preparations for the World Baseball Classic next month in October. The head coach will be selected first. It was rumored that the CTBA was interested in seeking out Saharu Oh to coach the team. That was wishful thinking, as Oh has been tapped to lead Japan in the inaugural Baseball Classic. Once the coaching staff is complete, 60 potential players will be selected for tryouts. From there, the roster will be eventually reduced to 30 players.
I also found out that Yung-Chi Chen sat out the last game of the World Cup against the US because of an injury - a sprained foot. Let's hope it's not too serious, as he prepares for his offseason workouts.