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Hong-Chih Kuo returns to DL with psychological issue

May 11, 2011, 6:20 PM EDT

Hong-Chih Kuo

Dodgers setup man Hong-Chih Kuo, who had struggled since returning from a back strain on May 1, was placed back on the disabled list with what Los Angeles Times writer Dylan Hernandez has been told is a physcological issue.

Hernandez says Kuo is experiencing a recurrance of the yips, which first struck back in 2009.

Kuo was supposed to be the fallback for the Dodgers in the closer’s role if Jonathan Broxton failed to turn it around this year, but he had an 11.57 ERA in 4 2/3 innings over nine appearances.

In his last outing Monday, he allowed doubles to the only two hitters he faced before being pulled.

With his velocity down, Kuo showed no signs of being ready to occupy a key role in the Dodger pen. As a result, Vicente Padilla has taken over as the team’s closer in place of the injured Broxton.

Replacing Kuo will be another talented lefty with control issues in Scott Elbert. The former first-round pick had a 5.02 ERA and a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque.

  1. max - May 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    WebMD didn’t have any results for “the yips” — can anyone shed some light on this “psychological disorder?”

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 11, 2011 at 6:58 PM

      “Yips or the yips is an expression used to describe the apparent loss of certain fine motor skills seemingly without explanation in one of a number of different sports.

      Professional or leading amateur sportsmen affected by the Yips sometimes recover their ability, sometimes compensate by changing technique, or may be forced to abandon their sport at the highest level”

    • SmackSaw - May 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

      Yeah, it’s called “Thinking too much”.

  2. SmackSaw - May 11, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Lefties are a different breed.

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