Feb 25, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Hochevar (44) throws during a workout at Surprise Stadium practice area Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Triple Play Podcast 9 - Luke Hochevar, Tampa Bay Rays

Poor Luke Hochevar. He will have Tommy John surgery to fix a 50-65% tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow (UCL). Right before free agency, too.

We discuss his chances of returning to the Royals, whether or not he’ll be a starter or a reliever when he returns, as well as what it means for the Kansas City Royals squad. Hochevar was electric out of the bullpen last year, with a 1.92 ERA, and while this will definitely be a blow to the Royals, they still have extraordinary bullpen depth stretching all the way to AAA-Omaha.

Brad Penny was released by the Kansas City Royals after slamming his hand glove down on a Gator (tractor). He did very little for the Royals, allowing 13 hits in four innings. Speaking of nothing-to-lose minor league deals, we also discuss Jair Jurrjens and why he doesn’t have a job, how much his fastball velocity dropped, and if he would help or hurt the Royals pitching depth.

Despite some contract signings, very little news hit the headlines this week, so we jumped right into our continuing previews of American League wild card contenders. This week, we discuss the Tampa Bay Rays, who may even contend for the division. Of course we mention their right fielder…what’s his name? We also have a lengthy, in-depth conversation about the future of possible ace Matt Moore. He walks so many people, will he end up in the bullpen?

The team’s depth is decent at the major league level, but it will only take a few injuries before they might have to tap a minor league system nearly devoid of legitimate prospects. Still, the team has super-utility players, Logan Forsythe, who is still fairly young with hitting potential, and Sean Rodriguez backing up a good defending infield.

With a slightly above average bullpen, excellent lineup and solid starting rotation, this team is going to win a lot of games.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Logan Forsythe Luke Hochevar Matt Moore

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