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Dodgers put Hong-Chih Kuo on the disabled list with anxiety disorder [Updated]

May 11, 2011 |  3:30 pm

Photo: Hong-Chih Kuo. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / U.S. Presswire Hong-Chih Kuo, who was nearly unhittable last year but has done little but struggle this season, was placed on the disabled list before Wednesday’s game in Pittsburgh.

Manager Don Mattingly curiously said he could not give the reason why Kuo was placed on the DL until he was given permission from Major League Baseball, though a person familiar with the situation told The Times' Dylan Hernandez that it may be a relapse of the "yips" that Kuo has suffered from before

Mattingly would not even say if he expected Kuo back this season.

"It’s hard for me to answer that," Mattingly told reporters in Pittsburgh.

[Updated 3:51 p.m. May 11: The Dodgers announced that Kuo was placed on the DL with anxiety disorder.]

Mattingly said he does expect him to pitch again.

Kuo has battled the "yips'' for the second time in his career this season, struggling to throw the ball accurately -- even to first base -- despite not having any physical issues.

The Dodgers called up Scott Elbert from triple-A Albuquerque to take Kuo’s spot on the roster. The former No. 1 pick, who has struggled in three previous trips to the majors (6.84 ERA), becomes the bullpen’s only left-hander.

Kuo, who’s had four elbow surgeries, was brilliant last season, posting a 1.20 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and saving 12 games when he took over the closer’s role late in the season. The All-Star reliever held opponents to a .139 batting average.

But this season he suffered an unexplained turnaround. He was previously on the DL this season with a back strain.

In nine games (4 2/3 innings), he has an 11.57 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP.

The Dodgers' bullpen has struggled throughout most of the season and the team may still have to place Blake Hawksworth, who injured his groin Tuesday, on the DL.

-- Steve Dilbeck


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Photo: Hong-Chih Kuo. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, U.S. Presswire