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Hong-Chih Kuo named to NL All-Star team

July 11, 2010 | 10:40 am
Hong-Chih Kuo, a survivor of four elbow operations and Steve Blass disease, has been added to the National League All-Star team. Kuo is replacing sidelined Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward.

The left-handed setup man is 3-1 with a 1.03 earned-run average in 25 appearances this season. He has 36 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

Kuo has been particularly dominant against left-handed hitters, who are 0 for 30 with 16 strikeouts against him.

Kuo had the last of his elbow operations in 2007. He reported to spring training the next year with the possibility of retirement on his mind. He told the coaching staff not to baby him. If he got hurt, he told them, he got hurt.

But he might have overcome his greatest obstacle last season, when he suddenly lost the ability to throw a strike. Warming up in the bullpen during a game at Dodger Stadium in May, he sailed a couple of balls into the infield. After spending time talking to two sports psychologists and working out at the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Arizona, Kuo was activated from the disabled list in late July.

-- Dylan Hernandez