|Kuo's release opens door for Furbush |
by Rick Randall of SeattleClubhouse.com, March 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm ET
Charlie Furbush Profile
The Seattle Mariners today announced the release of left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, a former All-Star reliever who had some dominant seasons for the Dodgers. Kuo went through on- and off-field struggles last season and was ultimately released by Los Angeles and signed to a one-year MLB contract by the M's prior to Spring Training.
But Kuo's velocity wasn't back to the mid-90s where it used to be and his command was still off, and the results in Cactus League play reflected that. His release gives Seattle some much needed roster wiggle space as they had been operating with a full 40-man. A few NRI players have been making a push in spring action and now finding space for then won't be quite as difficult.
The other side effect of Kuo being let go is that fellow lefty Charlie Furbush -- who pitched in the rotation for Seattle in the second half last year -- now has an easier road to the big league roster. Furbush has more stamina, more cheap years of club control and more versatility than Kuo, and although there had been talk of him remaining in the rotation this year in Tacoma, his outings this spring have all been relatively short. His stuff certainly plays up in relief and his delivery has already shown to give lefties trouble.
Look for Furbush to make the club now and serve a vital role out of the pen as the long man early in the season with Seattle's unique opening month schedule.