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 LOS ANGELES (AP) -The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, and designated infielder Wilson Valdez for assignment.
In addition, right-hander Joe Mays opted out of his minor league contract and requested his unconditional release.
Kuo, who began the season on the disabled list, has no record in five games for Las Vegas - three of them starts. He walked five, struck out 19 and allowed four earned runs in 11 1-3 innings.
By recalling Kuo, the Dodgers expanded their pitching staff to 12.
``Last night we went through quite a few guys,'' general manager Ned Colletti said Tuesday before the NL West-leading Dodgers played the St. Louis Cardinals. ``We'd rather go with 11 (pitchers). That's becoming tougher and tougher to do.''
Colletti said the 25-year-old Kuo will work out of the bullpen for now.
``He's pitched well in Vegas,'' Colletti said. ``We'll see what the future holds for him, whether it's in the 'pen or the rotation.
Kuo was 1-5 with a 4.22 ERA in 28 games for the Dodgers last season. After being used as a reliever, he was impressive in five late-season starts, and started the second game of the NL division series against the New York Mets.
Valdez, who turns 29 next week, hit .236 with five RBIs in 28 games for the Dodgers - mostly in a reserve role. He played the entire 2006 season at Las Vegas.
The Dodgers have 10 days to trade Valdez or grant him his release.
``There is some interest,'' Colletti said. ``He deserves another major league opportunity.''
Mays, a 31-year-old right-hander who signed a minor league contract in February, was 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in seven games for Las Vegas - all starts. Mays, a 17-game winner for the Minnesota Twins in 2001 who later underwent elbow surgery, pitched for Cincinnati and Kansas City last season.
``We've got a short time to add him to the roster or give him his release,'' Colletti said. Considering their pitching quality and depth, it's unlikely Mays will be retained.
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