Hong-Chih Kuo regaining control
HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who abruptly left the team two weeks ago to deal with an apparent case of the yips and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with what was termed "anxiety disorder," appears to have regained his command while throwing off a mound at the team's spring-training facility in Glendale, Ariz.
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"He has been throwing a lot," Dodgers manager Ned Colletti said. "He is at about 90 percent intensity and having no problems with his command. We'll see where we go from here."
Colletti said Kuo eventually will face hitters in extended spring-training games, but that there is no target date for that to happen, nor is there a target date for Kuo to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Kuo, a National League All-Star for the first time last year, had an 11.57 ERA in nine appearances this season, with a highly uncharacteristic six walks in 4 2/3 innings. He left the team before a May 11 game in Pittsburgh, and while team officials were guarded that day as to his whereabouts, it quickly became clear that Kuo was dealing with the yips -- an inability to control where his pitches were going -- albeit a milder case than the one that briefly plagued him in 2009.
Colletti declined to say whether Kuo also is receiving any psychological counseling as part of his effort to overcome the problem.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.