Perhaps there's more to the Hong Chih-Kuo acquisition than meets the eye. It didn't look like much the first time you saw it, but could he be one of those key acquisitions to make Seattle a rising contender in the MLB race? Who knows, but there are definitely things to like here if you look closely enough.
Jack Dickey of Deadspin reports.
Kuo has the eighth-highest strikeout rate over the last four seasons among pitchers with at least 100 IP. (One of those pitchers is Billy Wagner, though, and he's retired.) Among the seven in that group who are not Wagner, Kuo has the lowest walk rate. Kuo is the Taiwanese Billy Wagner.
So he has that anxiety problem, the yips. So what? He looked better when he came off the disabled list last year. And if he works things out, he can be the best. Consider his 2010: 60 innings, a 1.20 ERA, 73 strikeouts, 18 walks, and only 29 hits. He was terrifyingly good.
When it comes to baseball pitchers, players can fluctuate from good seasons to bad seasons. Kuo is coming off a nightmare season, so it figures that his value would be at its highest in terms of the contract the Mariners would be willing to dole out.
There's definitely a lot to like from these type of acquisitions. If they pan out, it could be a huge steal. If they don't, it's only a small amount of money spent overall.
To talk about Kuo being the potential savior of the Mariners, head on over to Lookout Landing.