LOS ANGELES -- For years, the Dodgers' training staff worried every time Hong-Chih Kuo threw a baseball.
Now, the staff worries when he doesn't.
Because Kuo's elbow had undergone four operations, in past offseasons, he'd be shut down -- only to find that it would take extra long to get cranked up the following year. So when most pitchers take a break after the season ends, Kuo will keep throwing.
"We found last winter that he seems to do better when he continues to throw," said trainer Stan Conte. "So his program is different than the rest. We want him to throw a couple times a week. For him, it's better than stopping. He's had good success this year throwing throughout the season, so we'll try to repeat that."
Kuo, who inherited the job of closer from Jonathan Broxton, has had two Tommy John surgeries (2000 and '03) and two arthroscopic clean-ups ('02 and '07).
Although he's 29, he's been in the organization longer than any current Dodgers player, signing in 1999.