September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (44) walks off the field after being relieved during the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Hochevar Reduced To Bullpen Role

The Royals delivered some intriguing news today in camp. The team announced that former No. 1 overall pick (2006) Luke Hochevar was no longer in contention for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.

For some, the surprise is not the fact that Hochevar was no longer a candidate for the starting rotation, but that he would instead be taking a role in the bullpen for the Royals.During spring training, Hochevar was carrying around a 1-0 record with a 6.75 ERA. The rest of his statline is certainly anything but spectacular: six earned runs against, including surrending two home runs and giving up six walks to round out the former Opening Day starter’s spring numbers.His time in Kansas City has not been filled with the stellar seasons which fans have to come to expect from salary-eater. Hochevar’s career numbers show a 38-59 record and an ERA north of five (5.39).

Royals’ manager Ned Yost said he hasn’t determined what role Hochevar will fill, whether it is early inning-mop up duty or a late-inning hold role.

While in the starting rotation, Hochevar had tendencies to work himself into jams, via ineffective control or mistakes up in the hitter’s zone. Specifically, the former Tennessee star had a habit of serving up painful home runs to some of the American League’s top bombers. To his name, Hochevar has surrendered 95 home runs while in big league service.

If Hochevar is to make the Opening Day roster, he will be due $4.56 million, according to


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  • unclejesse40

    MENDOZA!!!! or Chen but thank goodness its not Hoch. Yippie

  • jimfetterolf

    I’m thinking Dutton had Hoch targeted as late inning rather than long, makes sense as Luke’s stuff could work with starting an inning. Relievers are failed starters as a general rule, so we’ll see. Might enhance his trade value. Of more interest is that Ventura and Will Smith will now get more starts.

  • jimfetterolf

    Guess this does blow up the meme that Hochevar would be given the 5th spot no matter what. Joins the “Dayton Moore will never cut Yuni or get rid of Sanchez and admit he made a mistake” that we heard the first half of last year.

  • Bob Ellis

    I think his job goes to one of the lefties now…probably Chen, but rooting for Smith or Mendoza, although I think Mendoza could get squeezed out due to the need for a lefty.

  • ArrowFan

    Historically I think he has been very good the first time around when facing batters, Therefore I think he could fill just about any roll in the pen and do it well. Only time will tell if he is worth his $$. However he could prove to be good trade bate for someone else pen. I’m just not sure what we would want to trade for at this point.

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