Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Welcome to the Blue, Chin-Hui Tsao!

This is a rather incredible feat.  A ballplayer who last played in the Majors some eight years ago will now step into the Dodger clubhouse.  It has just been announced, although anticipated all day, that right-handed relief pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao will join the club today.  Additionally, Josh Ravin also joins him.  Ian Thomas and Yimi Garcia have been sent to AAA.

Via a Dodger press release:
Tsao will be making his first appearance in the big leagues since 2007 and has gone 2-1 with five saves and a 3.86 ERA in 21 games this year with Oklahoma City. In 50 MLB games (eight starts) with the Rockies (2003-05) and Dodgers (2007), Tsao went 4-4 with four saves with a 5.40 ERA.
As you will recall, the Dodgers took a gamble on Tsao by inviting him to Spring Training this year - even while knowing about his involvement in a game fixing scheme in Taiwan in 2009 and a reported banning from the Chinese Professional Baseball League.  Still, he was said to be able to throw in the mid-90's, and that was probably good enough to give him a look.  Word is the commissioner gave the Dodgers the go ahead to sign him.

Fortunately, the Dodgers bet appears to be paying off.  He was fantastic during the Spring, and earned a spot within the Dodgers system.  Yasmani Grandal said this about him in March, via Ken Gurnick at
"First time I ever saw him," said catcher Yasmani Grandal. "He gives me a lot of options. He has a back-door breaking ball. And I didn't know he threw that hard."
In 25 appearances in Oklahoma City and Tulsa he struck out 39 batters in 30.2 innings of work.  He had also walked only five batters total.  If he maintains these kind of numbers while in Los Angeles he just might become a fixture on the club.

In celebration of Tsao's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo taken by Jon SooHoo during Spring Training and the 1972 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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