Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Red Envelope Please...

The offseason accalades keep pouring in for HongZhi Guo. The latest piece of hardware for the flamethrowing southpaw is the TYIB Setup Man Of The Year Award.

[K]uo won with 30.3 percent of the vote. He was followed by Grant Balfour of the Rays (19.2 percent), Carlos Marmol of the Cubs (17.6), Scot Shields of the Angels (7.5), Brad Ziegler of the Athletics (6.1), Scott Downs of the Blue Jays (4.9), Mike Adams of the Padres (4.5), Dan Wheeler of the Rays (4.2), Taylor Buchholz of the Rockies (3.8) and Chad Qualls of the Diamondbacks (2.1).
[K]uo went 5-3 with a 2.14 ERA and his first career save in 42 games (including three starts), allowing only 60 hits in a career-high 80 innings while striking out 96 and only walking 21. His relief ERA of 1.69 led the league (minimum of 50 innings), and opponents hit only .204 against him.

While this award is a great accomplishment for Guo, who is as talented as any pitcher on the Dodgers staff, it goes to show what great numbers Guo is capable of if he remains healthy. The question will always be there if Guo has the durability to pitch back to back days out of the pen, or every fifth day in the starting rotation. Last year as the season progressed, Guo was given the opportunity to pitch in higher leverage situations. Guo should have a good shot at repeating as the TYIB Setup Man of the Year, a feat that nobody has ever accomplished(1). Unbeknownst to the Dodgers front office and members of the media, the award kicked in a stipulation in Guo's contract wherein his last name must be spelled with a 'G'.

(1) - Research Department is currently investigating this claim
Hat Tip: to Underdog on this story.

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