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Hong-Chih Kuo placed on DL, leaving Dodgers without lefty reliever; Ramon Troncoso called up

April 16, 2011 |  4:05 pm

Photo: Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo delivers a pitch against the Giants earlier this month at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

The good news is Hong-Chih Kuo’s four-time-operated-on elbow is feeling swell. The bad news is his back is a major pain.

Enough pain that on Saturday the Dodgers placed Kuo on the 15-day disabled list with left lower back strain and called up right-hander Ramon Troncoso.

Which means now they have zero left-handers in the bullpen.

Kuo has pitched only 2 2/3 innings in four games this season, but he hasn’t looked like the left-hander who was absolutely dominant last season, became an All-Star, and by mid-August, the team’s closer. His 1.20 ERA was the lowest in Dodgers history among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched.

This year he had a 3.38 ERA, with four walks and four strikeouts.

Troncoso suffered a disappointing 2010 season (2-3, 4.33). In seven innings and three games at triple-A Albuquerque, Troncoso was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA, six strikeouts and one walk.

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--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo delivers a pitch against the Giants earlier this month at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

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