Chin-hui Tsao

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Chin-Hui Tsao
Chin-hui Tsao KC.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1981-06-02) June 2, 1981 (age 33)
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: July 25, 2003 for the Colorado Rockies
CPBL: April 25, 2009 for the Brother Elephants
Last professional appearance
MLB: July 14, 2007 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
CPBL: 2009 for the Brother Elephants
CPBL statistics
Win–loss record 8–8
Earned run average 3.939
Strikeouts 64
MLB statistics
Wins–losses 4–4
Earned run average 5.40
Strikeouts 60
Teams
Chin-hui Tsao
Traditional Chinese 曹錦輝
Simplified Chinese 曹锦辉
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tsao.

Chin-Hui Tsao (simplified Chinese: 曹锦辉; traditional Chinese: 曹錦輝; pinyin: Cáo Jǐnhūi; born June 2, 1981 in Hualien County, Taiwan) is a former Major League Baseball and CPBL pitcher. He is the second major league player and the first major league pitcher from Taiwan, and like the first, former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Chin-Feng Chen, he is a Taiwanese aborigine (Amis).[1] After the 2009 Taiwan Series he was found involved in game-fixing scandals and was expelled by CPBL on February 10, 2010.

International baseball career[edit]

Tsao pitched for his country in five major international competitions, including the Junior World Championships (1996–1997, 1999), the 1999 Asian Baseball Championship, and the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. In the two Olympics appearances, Tsao went 0–1 with a 1.93 ERA and one save. At the 1999 Asia Cup, he dominated: making three appearances (11 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 19 strikeouts), fanning 15 batters in his one start against China.

Tsao had one of the Asia's best pitching arms. In the 2004 Olympics at Athens, he was clocked at 162 km/h (101 mph) at the park and 159 km/h (99 mph) on the TV gun.

Major League Baseball[edit]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

After graduating from high school in the summer of 1999, Tsao briefly played for Taiwan Major League's Kaoping Fala before he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Colorado Rockies on October 19, 1999. Tsao pitched in the Rockies' farm system for the Asheville Tourists in 2000, starting 24 games and accumulating a record of 11–8 with a 2.73 ERA with a whopping 187 strikeouts against only 40 walks. He was selected as Baseball America's 2nd team Minor League All-Star, Low A All-Star, Colorado Rockies Minor League Player of the Year, South Atlantic League All-Star, and South Atlantic League Most Valuable Pitcher.

He played in only four games in 2001 for High A Salem before undergoing reconstructive right elbow surgery on May 23. He rejoined the team late in the 2002 season and made 9 starts (4-2, 2.09).

Finally healthy, he started 2003 for Double-A Tulsa, compiling an 11–4 record with a 2.46 era in 18 starts, striking out 125 against only 26 walks. He earned a spot on the Double-A All-Star team and was a Texas League All-Star.

Made his major league debut for the Rockies against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 25, 2003 as a starter. He worked 6.1 innings, allowed 3 runs, struck out 5 and walked one as he picked up his first victory in the Rockies 7–3 win. He was the first Taiwanese pitcher to ever compete in a Major League game when he took the mound that night. Tsao made history on August 18, 2003, when he became the first Taiwanese player to get a hit, and he was also the only Rockies player to get a hit, spoiling the no-hitter bid of Steve Trachsel.[2]

Injuries and his commitment to the Chinese Taipei Olympic team limited him to just 10 appearances in the Rockies bullpen in 2004, but he earned his first professional save on September 29, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Rockies intended to make him their regular closer for the 2005 season, but Tsao was sidelined by a pair of right shoulder injuries that eventually required season-ending surgery. His recovery from the surgery (for a torn labrum and a debridement of the right rotator cuff) caused him to miss the entire 2006 season and led to the Rockies letting him leave as a free agent following the season.[3]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Tsao was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers and invited to compete for a roster spot out of the bullpen. He earned a spot and pitched 1013 scoreless innings before faltering and allowing 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning on May 6.[4]

He suffered from injury problems again during the 2007 season, missing the second half of the season due to injury. After the season, the Dodgers optioned him to the minors, but he refused the assignment and became a free agent.

Kansas City Royals[edit]

Tsao signed with the Kansas City Royals for the 2008 season with a minor league contract and invitation to spring training to compete for a spot in the bullpen and rotation, but did not make the team and started the season in Triple-A. On June 3, 2008, Tsao was released by the Royals. Tsao later returned to Taiwan to join the Chinese Taipei national baseball team for the 2008 Olympics. In this tournament Tsao only pitched 1.2 inning and achieved an unsatisfactory 10.8 ERA.

CPBL[edit]

On December 31, 2008, Tsao was drafted by the Brother Elephants in the Chinese Professional Baseball League(CPBL) annual draft as the first round 2nd overall pick. On March 23, 2009, he signed with the team with NT$ 350,000(ca. USD 11,000) monthly salary, but without signing bonus. In the whole 2009 CPBL season Tsao achieved an 8-win, 8-loss, 3.939 ERA, 1.33 WHIP record in his 93.2 inning pitching. Tsao was the losing pitcher in the final 7th match in the 2009 Taiwan Series.

After the 2009 Taiwan Series Tsao had been under investigation for game fixing allegations. On February 10, 2010, the Banciao District Prosecutors' Office announced that during the 2009 CPBL season Tsao had been accepting unsuitable benefits, including wine and sex, from the gamblers and therefore had agreed to throw two CPBL games in August 2009 for them. However, Tsao narrowly escaped because one game was cancelled due to Typhoon Morakot while Tsao declined the other game when not enough of his teammates agreed to go along. Tsao was not finally indicted but was still expelled by the Brother Elephants immediately due to misbehavior, ending his baseball career in Taiwan.[5][6]

Post-scandal activities[edit]

Throughout 2010 Tsao attempted to join several independent baseball league teams in the United States but was rejected repeatedly. Between December 2010 and November 2012 Tsao ran a barbecue restaurant in Hualien City along with his former Brother Elephants teammate Chen Chih-yuan who was also expelled by CPBL due to game-fixing allegations.[7] In November 2012 Tsao withdrew his barbecue restaurant shares to open his own beef noodle soup restaurant in Hualien City alongside his then girlfriend, surnamed Pan.[8]

In April 2014 Pan told Apple Daily Taiwan that by the end of 2013 Tsao embezzled some NT$1.6 million (ca. USD 50,000) from her and the restaurant. Tsao then fled with his new girlfriend and disappeared from the restaurant ever since.[9] Tsao denied any wrongdoing in a pre-recorded video, but did not show up publicly.[10] Pan sued Tsao and the lawsuits remain unsettled. Their restaurant closed down in July 2014.

Tsao attempted a return to professional baseball in December 2014, signing with the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League, partway through the 2014–15 season.[11] However, the Australian Baseball League suspended Tsao upon his arrival in Adelaide, after discussions with CPBL and MLB officials.[12][13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]