Sep 4, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Hochevar (44) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium. Seattle won the game 6-4. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Breaking News: Luke Hochevar Injured

Andy McCullough is reporting that Luke Hochevar is being shut down with a sprained UCL.  It appears that he will be out until late May or early June.

McCullough Tweet 1 McCullough Tweet 2
While not always necessary, UCL injuries most often end in Tommy John surgery.  That would put him out for the rest of the season.

Although Luke Hochevar was the 2nd best reliever last year, behind Greg Holland, the bullpen should be able to absorb this loss.  Relievers tend to be volatile from year to year, so it’s always nice to have more guys that have proved they can get guys out at the MLB level.  In this case the Royals still have Kelvin Herrara, Aaron Crow, and Tim Collins to get from the starter to Holland in close games.

Even though it will undoubtedly hurt the team it does open up a couple of possibilities.  First, the Royals could move Bruce Chen into the bullpen.  If he is out pitched by Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura during the spring then he will be a more valuable commodity as a swing man.

 If somehow Luke Hochevar does avoid Tommy John Surgery that would give a great 3 month audition to Ventura and Duffy to see if they are able to consistently get out MLB hitters, while keeping another viable option on the roster.

The Royals could also use this opportunity to open the season with one less bullpen arm.  I believe that the biggest thing that would have held them back from doing this was a lack of guys that still had options left.  They can utilize the 40 man roster, sending players up and down from AAA to get a better look at either Pedro Ciriaco or Christian Colon with the added bonus of having a backup infielder.

The most likely  result is going to be that there is a seldom used 7th bullpen guy.  It does add some more intrigue as to who is going to get the final 2 spots coming into the season.


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Tags: Kansas City Royals Luke Hochevar

5 Comments on Kansas City Royals Breaking News: Luke Hochevar Injured

  1. jimfetterolf says:

    Expect Wade Davis to become the favorite, unless Danny nails down his command.

    • Tyler_KC_Fan says:

      I honestly would take Ventura or Duffy before giving Davis the spot again. After last year I can’t pull myself to believeing that one year later he is going to be doing any better.

      • jimfetterolf says:

        All else being equal, sure, take one of the kids if they win it. But both youngsters will be on innings caps and Ventura has Super Two issues. Using Davis, if he’s ready, for a month or two takes care of the Duffy issues. If he has a couple of bad starts, back to the ‘pen and bring a young ‘un up. Minimal risk with high possible return, same as using Hoch.

        • Tyler_KC_Fan says:

          Just curious, I haven’t read anywhere that Duffy and Ventura would have an inning cap. Yost said he thinks Ventura could go 200+ innings when he’s called up. I haven’t read about Yost’s opinion on Duffy’s innings.

          Did I miss the article or statement made about an inning cap or are you just assuming he would get a Strausburg inning cap situation?

          • jimfetterolf says:

            Both were at 150 last year and a month or two back it was said they’ld be held to 180 or so, usual 30 inning increase. I think it was in the Star.

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