What happened in 2016: After an unexpected return to Major League Baseball and the Dodgers in 2015 post game-fixing scandal in his native Taiwan, Chin-hui Tsao only pitched in a combined seven big-league games for Los Angeles (two games in 2016) and wasn’t unable to stay healthy enough to make a sustained and successful contribution to the team.
The veteran Taiwanese right-hander wasn’t invited to Major League camp in Spring Training and began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He pitched decently in OKC going 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA, six saves, 14 strikeouts and five walks over 16 1/3 innings pitched (17 games).
Tsao was briefly called up in May, but only appeared in two games out of the Dodger bullpen before he succumbed to injury, ending his second career stint with the Dodgers. His second outing of 2016 came on May 21 in San Diego, the same game Alex Wood collected a career-high 13 strikeouts. Tsao’s relief appearance was nothing short of disastrous when the Padres walked off in the eleventh inning for their second consecutive walk-off win over the Dodgers in as many days.
A day after Kenley Jansen served up a walk-off home run to Melvin Upton Jr. in the 7-6 loss to the Padres, Tsao came in during the eleventh in a 2-2 tie and allowed a leadoff single to Wil Myers, nearly gave up a walk-off home run to Upton Jr., then completely lost the strike zone. Three consecutive walks to Derek Norris, Brett Wallace and Yangervis Solarte on 14 pitches gave the Friars the 3-2 win. Tsao was tagged with the loss after the walk-off walk.
Tsao sat on his folding chair in the bullpen the entirety of the 17-inning marathon against San Diego the following game. Dave Roberts explained he was unavailable to pitch due to soreness. He subsequently was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day with a right triceps strain. After the Dodgers claimed Layne Somsen off waivers from the Yankees in June, Tsao was transferred to the 60-day DL.
2017 status: Tsao declined his outright assignment to Triple-A this off-season, electing free agency. You can bet this is not the last we see of Tsao.