LOS ANGELES -- One reason for the Dodgers' seemingly daily bullpen roster moves is the reluctance to jeopardize the health of left-handed setup reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker last week said Kuo (1.25 ERA) deserves to be an All-Star, an indication of how valuable Kuo has become. And because he's so valuable, manager Joe Torre continues to treat the Taiwanese native like fine China. "I'm not going to use him back-to-back," Torre said before Friday night's game against the Yankees. Kuo pitched two-thirds of an inning on Thursday night in Anaheim, after a warmup that was interrupted for 20 minutes by a light failure -- so Torre said he would not be used Friday night.
To help alleviate Kuo's absence, the Dodgers recalled reliever Jon Link and designated for assignment knuckleballer Charlie Haeger on Friday night. Kuo, who has had four elbow operations -- including two Tommy John reconstructions -- spent the first three weeks of the season on the disabled list. He allowed one run in his first appearance of the year and one more over the next 21. He has not allowed a hit to 24 left-handed batters (12 strikeouts) this season and the opposition's average against him is .122, with 27 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Torre has not used Kuo on consecutive days this year. He did it four times last year.