No High Five for Chinese Taipei’s Kuo-Hui Lo: Sliding Home Sends Taiwanese-born MLB Minor Leaguer to Disabled List & Hospital for Surgery

Late in the fifth inning of game two of the Taiwan All-Star Baseball Series at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium with his Chinese Taipei national team tied with the MLB All-Stars 2-2, Kuo-Hui Lo–a promising center fielder in Seattle Mariners farm system–singled and later stole second base off MLB relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. In his attempt to score from second base for Chinese Taipei on a single by fellow Taiwanese-born MLB minor leaguer Chun-Hsiu Chen–a budding catching prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, Lo slid awkwardly into home plate, catching his leg underneath his body. Unfortunately for Chinese Tapei, MLB All-Star rightfielder Josh Reddick threw a rocket home to catcher Ronny Paulino, who applied the tag on Lo for the third out to end the inning. It may have been a big break for the MLB All-Stars to stop the Chinese Tapei national team rally, but it was nothing compared to the injuries sustained to Kuo-Hui Lo, who during his unorthodox slide suffered multiple leg fractures and a severely dislocated ankle. He was taken off the field in a stretcher and rushed to the hospital for surgery assisted by a MLB physician. It is reported that Lo will be on the disabled list for at least three months. Not only would the Chinese Taipei national team lose one of its star players for the remainder of the exhibition series, but they would also end up losing its second consecutive game to the MLB All-Stars 5-3.

Prior to entering the Taiwan All-Star Series, Kuo-Hui Lo was playing for the Seattle Mariners AA affiliate, Southern League’s Jackson Generals in Tennessee, where he enjoyed playing day games based on his .533 batting average in five contests and overall earned what many would consider a comparably modest .335 on base percentage in 49 games. In April 2009 as a member of the single A High Desert Mavericks, Lo was voted Offensive Player of the Week in the California League when he blasted off 4 home runs in 5 games. Lo set the bar high in the California League all season long as he led all players overall in triples and slugging percentage. Kuo-Hui Lo’s fundamental level swing, quick wrists, and strong hips generate good bat speed and torque. The Seattle Mariners hope Lo can live up to their high expectations and make his way safely to the Major League dish barring any future injury…

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Televised 2011 Taiwan All-Star Baseball Series Extends MLB Season, Unites Countries & Cultures

While most believe the World Series marks the year end of professional baseball and the beginning of a long drought without America’s favorite pastime, the true diehard fans get a weeklong reprieve as some of Major League Baseball’s best players will go head-to-head against a very talented Chinese Taipei national team beginning November 1st. MLB Network has announced its plans to televise the highly-anticipated 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series, five contests between the MLB All-Stars and the Chinese Taipei national team. The games will be played in three different cities in the Republic of China–November 1 at XinZhuang Stadium in New Taipei City, November 3 & 4 at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, and November 5 & 6 at Cheng-Ching Lake Stadium in Kaohsiung. With the exception of a 2 pm(PST) start time on November 5th, first pitch is scheduled for 6 pm(PST) every night. MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger and Larry Bowa will call the games.

“Major League Baseball is excited to take another important step in showcasing our great game to Taiwan, continuing our objective to bring baseball to fans throughout the world,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We are pleased that many fine players will represent Major League Baseball when they meet the top talents of Taiwan.” The series is made possible through a partnership between MLB and the Major League Players Association in an effort to promote the game of baseball internationally and showcase talent from around the world.

The Republic of China, better known as Taiwan, has a wealth of talented baseball players. Los Angeles Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo was expected to pitch for the Chinese Taipei national team, but instead upon the recommendation of his Los Angeles-based team doctor skipped the series to undergo surgery on his left elbow. However, there is still Washington Nationals Chien-Ming Wang–the highly-touted Taiwanese-born pitcher once known for his dreaded sinkerball and near 100 mph velocity–who is slated to be among the Chinese Taipei national team’s pitching rotation. Upon his arrival in Taipei last week, Wang commented that it had been a long time since he had played with Taiwanese players but expressed joy in being in his home country of Taiwan. His MLB comeback after two years of rehabilitation from injuries was described by Nationals manager Davey Johnson as “a remarkable season” for Wang, who posted a 4-3 record and a 4.04 ERA. In his final four starts of the season, Wang struck out 16 and walked none in 23 2/3 innings pitched. The Nationals have set a three inning or 60 pitch limit for Wang according to Taiwan national team manager Chen Wei-Cheng, who has yet to decide which game Wang will pitch. Part of the Chinese Taipei national team’s secret arsenal includes Detroit Tigers lefty reliever Ni Fu-Te, the Taiwanese-born southpaw who posted an impressive 2.61 ERA as a rookie two years ago. Although Ni was confined to AAA ball this season, he did get the opportunity to shine at MLB Spring Training Camp, where he allowed only four hits and one earned run in his 10 innings of work.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy will manage the MLB All-Stars. Bochy’s coaching staff will be comprised of his current Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Giants bullpen catcher Billy Hayes, Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton along with Rays equipment and home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland. The MLB All-Stars include: pitchers Colin Balester, Trevor Bell, Bill Bray, Phil Coke, Ross Detwiler, Dillon Gee, Jeremy Guthrie, LaTroy Hawkins, Mark Melancon, Felipe Paulino, Ramon Ramirez, Rich Thompson and Jose Veras; catchers Drew Butera, Jeff Mathis, and Ronnie Paulino; infielders Erick Aybar, Robinson Cano, Michael Morse, Ryan Roberts, Pablo Sandoval, Danny Valencia and Ty Wigginton; outfielders Emilio Bonifacio, Curtis Granderson, Logan Morrison, Josh Reddick and Andres Torres.

Perhaps the biggest proponent of the upcoming Taiwan All-Star Series is the Washington Nationals Mascot, Screech. The furry white eagle was chosen as the mascot for the series and will accompany the MLB All-Stars to Taiwan. This week Screech was on the set of a short film shot in Washington, DC to promote the international baseball games. Screech dazzled the crowd–including the Ambassador of Taiwan, Jason Yuan–by speaking and whistling in Mandarin Chinese and eating with chopsticks. The short film of Taiwan culture, featuring Screech, can be viewed on the Washington Nationals official website (washingtonnationals.com) and the mascot’s blog (screech.mlblogs.com).