Well, scratch one candidate for the fifth starter role. As we have all heard, Luke Hochevar went down with a sprained UCL, and is expected to miss a minimum of two to three months. The timing is quite unfortunate for Hochevar, who is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season. If it turns out that he needs Tommy John surgery, which has not yet been ruled out, then what could have been a springboard season to a decent contract as a free agent will have turned into a nightmare.
Let’s take a look at other Royals news over the past few days that you may have missed:
Our friends over at KC Kingdom wrote an article about how Salvador Perez is the best bargain in major league baseball. A Gold Glove caliber All-Star catcher who is only 23 years old and is locked in for at least four more years? With two more team friendly options? Sounds like a bargain to me as well.
Jim Bowden reported on Twitter that James Shields will not negotiate with the Royals once the season begins. Meanwhile, the Royals are seemingly dragging their feet on approaching Shields about an extension, since there have not been any reports about such discussions. Was Dayton Moore really serious when he stated that Wade Davis was a key to trading Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi? Someone get me another beer.
James Shields told us he has no interest in negotiating with the Royals once the season starts Sirius 209 XM 89
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 4, 2014
Billy Butler has been seeing more time at first base during practices than he has in recent years. His hope is to play there more during the regular season, in order to increase lineup flexibility for the Royals. Despite a poor defensive reputation, Butler has actually improved his fielding prowress to the point where he is not a total embarrassment in the field. The only question is, if Butler is at first, where does Eric Hosmer play? Do they plug Hosmer in right, or let him act as the designated hitter? The Royals need his bat in the lineup as well.
Finally, if you play fantasy baseball and are interested in drafting any members of the Royals, I was invited to answer a few questions about some Royals players for the people over at Razzball.com. Take a look at my thoughts on the Royals for your fantasy squads. Hopefully, these thoughts will help you out this season.