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.
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
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 Baseball-Reference.com.