Dodgers call up Chin-hui Tsao, a relief pitcher with troubled past

Dodgers call up Chin-hui Tsao, a relief pitcher with troubled past
Reliever Chin-hui Tsao, pitching for the Colorado Rockies in April 2005, celebrates the final out in a game against the Dodgers in Denver. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The last time Chin-hui Tsao pitched for a team in the majors was in 2007, when he was 26 years old. He’ll have a chance to change that Wednesday after being called up to the Dodgers from triple-A Oklahoma City.

Tsao, now 34, has taken an unusual path back to the majors. After a failed attempt to make the Kansas City Royals in 2008, Tsao joined the Brother Elephants, a club in Taiwan. He played for one year in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), but allegations of match fixing were leveled against him at the conclusion of the season.

The allegations couldn't be proved and Tsao was not indicted. However, he was banned from the CPBL and struggled to catch on in other international leagues.

MLB officials conducted their own investigation into Tsao’s past a few years ago and he was cleared to play in the majors. The Dodgers signed the right-hander to a minor league deal in January.

"We'll use him out of the bullpen, and it depends on what the situation is," Manager Don Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the Phillies. "It could be middle innings, it could be length, it could be late. We'll try to get him into the mix first, and then we'll go from there."

From 2003 to 2007, Tsao accumulated a 4-4 record with a 5.40 earned-run average in 88 innings. In addition to Tsao, the Dodgers also recalled relief pitched Josh Ravin. They optioned Yimi Garcia and Ian Thomas to triple-A.