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Mariners Release Hong-Chih Kuo

In a move that is not surprising to those following along during Spring Training, the Seattle Mariners have announced the release of Hong-Chih Kuo. His results have been terrible of course, but I caution you not to read into this as a move that is an indictment of Kuo solely, 100%, because of those numbers. To me, and hopefully to the Mariners as well, what was more troubling about Kuo is that his scouting looked terrible.

A healthy and dominant Kuo was in the mid-90s with his fastball and flashed solid control. If the Kuo of this spring was back in the lower/mid 90s and wasn't walking people, then I would have been dismissive of his Spring ERA and such. I'm still dismissive of it, because I don't, and you shouldn't, care about Spring ERA, but I mention it in this case because here it backs up the larger defect. Kuo was hovering around 90 mph. In six appearances, Kuo had thrown just 57% strikes, walked four hitters, plunked one, served up five home runs and had only struck out four. Those are more the numbers that matter, even in Spring.

It was still a good move by Zduriencik to take a flyer on someone who had sustained such a level of success in the near past. I was quite hoping that move would pay off, for Seattle and for Kuo, but it will not and the Mariners now have an open spot on the 40-man roster.

I guess we know now, Jeff.