The injury bug still exists in the Kansas City Royals clubhouse. The season of injuries continues to plague the team. The latest victim consumed by an injury is relief pitcher, Luke Hochevar.
Luke Hochevar hasn’t looked right in his last few outings. He gave up three earned runs in one inning pitched on July 15th against the Detroit Tigers for the Kansas City Royals. This may have been due to rust coming off of the All-Star break but it’s still concerning.
He last pitched on Sunday July 24th. He gave up the tying run off a solo home run. He is now 2-3 on the year with a 3.86 earned run average (ERA) through 37 1/3 innings. He’s given up six home runs as well. He’s allowed three runs in three of his 40 appearances this season.
The Royals will call up Brooks Pounders to fill in for Hochevar. He’s been good in the minor leagues this season and could get an extended look in the majors due to Hochevar’s injury.
Kansas City Royals beat reporter, Jeffery Flanagan, reports the news via Twitter.
He also Tweeted why Hochevar is now on the disabled list. He said its due to showing symptoms of “thoradic outlet syndrome”.
Brooks Pounders will be relied upon to take over in the seventh inning or before for the Kansas City Royals. He also might be used later in games if Kelvin Herrera or Wade Davis aren’t available for some reason.
Pounders pitched well in the minors this season. In fact, he pitched well enough to be called up while Wade Davis served time on the disabled list with a right forearm strain earlier this season.
The 25-year-old from California has a 2.82 ERA in 70 1/3 innings pitched for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers. Pounders started five games for Omaha as well. He’s got a 10.5 strikeout per nine rate and a walks hit dived by innings pitched (WHIP) of 1.251 in the minors this season.
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He’s kept the ball in the ballpark at Omaha with 0.6 home runs per nine. Five home runs have been hit off the right-hander. Walks have also been somewhat of an issues. He’s allowed 4.0 walks per nine for a total of 33 walks this season.
Pounders got lit up in the big leagues. In four innings pitched, he’s allowed eight hits, two home runs for a 6.0 ERA. He accumulated six strikeouts as well. This is an extremely small sample size. The Kansas City Royals hope it was just a bad outing and not a sign of things to come.
Another unfortunate thing about the Hochevar injury is that it could limit the chance of a trade being made. Hochevar is a free agent after this season. The Boston Red Sox were said to have interest in the 32-year-old relief pitcher.
The injury might also force the Royals to keep Wade Davis or get relief pitching in return for some other piece the team could trade before the August 1st non-wavier trade deadline.
Safe to say, this season the Kansas City Royals have been devastated by injuries. No team can make the playoffs every season. Maybe the Royals will take a page out of the San Francisco Giants playbook and regroup this season and make another run at the title next season. We’ll find out in a few days.