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.
Dodgers call up Link; Haeger DFA'd
LOS ANGELES -- It went from bad to worse for knuckleballer Charlie Haeger on Friday, when he was designated for assignment one night after being removed from a start an out shy of qualifying for his first victory of the year.Haeger's removal in the fifth inning in Anaheim with a four-run lead triggered the use of six relievers and, with the potent Yankees in town, the Dodgers recalled the fresh arm of reliever Jon Link to replace Haeger. This is already Link's fourth callup this season, during which he's appeared in four games. The Dodgers have 10 days to trade Haeger, release him, or if he clears waivers, outright him back to the Minor Leagues. "It's just frustrating. The whole season has been frustrating," said the 26-year-old Haeger, who opened the season as the fifth starter and is 0-4 with an 8.40 ERA. "To not throw well, to be on the DL, the throw twice in nearly two months. Last night I think I was one out away from having a decent game. It's frustrating." The first of his six starts was a 12-strikeout no-decision in Florida. But he later battled control problems, was put on the disabled list twice with foot injuries and conceded he struggled with his confidence. His Thursday night start in Anaheim was his first since he failed to retire a batter on May 8 against Colorado. He was asked if he had a fair shot. "Early in the season I did," he said. "I had five starts. But I feel like, coming off the DL, throwing twice in the span of two months, I don't know how fair that is. I had an opportunity early in the season to throw the ball well and didn't. But it was a good experience here. It's been a rough season, but I fell like last night I threw the ball pretty well and feel like it's back, I found it again. Obviously, I'm disappointed. I want to be here."
Double-A skipper to coach Futures Game
LOS ANGELES -- Carlos Subero, manager of the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate at Chattanooga, has been named as a coach of the World Team in the 2010 XM Futures Game, to be played Sunday, June 11, at Angel Stadium.An infielder in his Minor League playing days, the 38-year-old Subero managed in the Rangers' and White Sox Minor League organizations before taking over the Dodgers' Class A affiliate at Inland Empire in 2009. Dodgers farmhands Dee Gordon (U.S. Team) and Pedro Baez (World Team) earlier were named to player rosters for the game.
Billingsley, Monasterios remain on track
LOS ANGELES -- Rehabbing Dodgers pitchers Chad Billingsley and Carlos Monasterios remain on track to return to the staff from their respective injuries.For Billingsley, that is likely to be Monday for a start in San Francisco. Tested Thursday in a simulated game and strenuous defensive drills, Billingsley reported no next-day discomfort on Friday in the tight groin muscle that sent him to the sidelines June 12. He is eligible to return on Sunday, but that is now Clayton Kershaw's regular day to start and manager Joe Torre said he did not want to give Kershaw an extra day off. Meanwhile, Monasterios had a full bullpen session on Friday and reported no problem with his finger blister, which isn't a surprise, because he's insisted all along that the blister never bothered him while pitching. Regardless, Monasterios was placed on the disabled list to make room for the return of Vicente Padilla last weekend. Monasterios is eligible to be activated on July 4, and he's expected to return to the bullpen, where he opened the season as a Rule 5 rookie.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.