Skip to content

Royals to give Hochevar, Davis second… mmm, sixth chances as SPs

Dec 9, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT

Luke Hochevar Getty Images

After two seasons as a below average starter, Wade Davis broke through as a reliever for the Rays in 2012, amassing a 2.43 ERA and striking out 87 in 70 1/3 innings.

The Royals plan after picking him up in the James Shields-Wil Myers trade? Move him back to the rotation.

Luke Hochevar was a below average starter for five years before his move to the pen last year. However, he was an immediate success as a reliever, posting a 1.92 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. This after he entered the season with a career ERA of 5.39.

So what are the Royals going to do now? Try him again as a starter, of course.

And they’re going to do the same with Davis, again, even though he was terrible as a starter last season and, again, an immediate success after losing his rotation spot and shifting back to the pen (one run in 10 innings in September).

The Royals will probably include one of the two in their 2014 rotation along with Shields, the newly acquired Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie and Danny Duffy. It’s possible both could be starters if Duffy struggles in spring training.

On the one hand, the Royals do have the bullpen depth to pull off such a plan. Even though Hochevar and Davis have both looked like elite setup men when given the chance, the Royals will still be just fine with Kelvin Herrera, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Louis Coleman and Donnie Joseph working in front of closer Greg Holland.

But it still seems like a pretty awful idea. Davis and Hochevar have combined to spend eight seasons in a major league rotation. The only year in which either managed even a 90 ERA+ was Davis’s rookie campaign in 2010 (he came in at 96). Hochevar’s career-best ERA is 4.68 and ERA+ is 87.

At least in Hochevar’s case, one could argue that he figured something out as a reliever that he could carry back into the rotation with him. Of course, that was the argument for Davis a year ago and it didn’t work. Hochevar essentially ditched his slider and changeup as a reliever, becoming a fastball-cutter guy. He can rely more on that cutter going forward than he did before, but he’s still going to need to reincorporate the changeup as a starter and that’s always been a liability for him.

Ideally, the Royals would be able to trade two guys from the Davis-Hochevar-Herrera-Crow-Collins quintet for one quality starter. It really shouldn’t be that much of a reach, given the value all five of those guys possess. But if they can’t go that route, they’re probably better off just keeping all of those guys in the pen and signing re-signing Bruce Chen to round out the rotation.

Latest Posts
  1. No progress in extension talks between Reds, Johnny Cueto

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    johnny cueto getty Getty Images

    Johnny Cueto is due to become a free agent five days after the 2015 World Series and he has said that he will not allow in-season extension negotiations. So the countdown clock is on in Cincinnati’s front office, and it sure looks like time is going to run out.

  2. Chris Sale strikes out 13 batters in minor league game

    Apr 1, 2015, 9:28 PM EDT

    chris sale getty Getty Images

    As noted by CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale struck out 13 batters over six-plus innings of one-run ball Wednesday in a game against a group of Reds minor leaguers.

  3. Yankees acquire infielder Gregorio Petit from Astros

    Apr 1, 2015, 8:34 PM EDT

    gregorio petit getty Getty Images

    Petit batted .278/.300/.423 with eight doubles and two home runs in 100 plate appearances last season for the Astros. He wasn’t going to make their Opening Day roster this spring, but the versatile 30-year-old infielder could be of immediate use to the Yankees …

  4. Christian Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery

    Apr 1, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    christian vazquez getty Getty Images

    As first reported by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Thursday morning.

  5. Video: Carlos Martinez goes six scoreless vs. Mets

    Apr 1, 2015, 7:07 PM EDT

    carlos martinez getty Getty Images

    Martinez wraps up the spring with a 2.86 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 22 innings. He was officially named the Cardinals’ fifth starter on Monday …

  6. Bruce Rondon scratched Wednesday with sore shoulder

    Apr 1, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT

    bruce rondon getty Getty Images

    Tigers setup man Bruce Rondon was supposed to make an appearance in Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the Padres, but he woke up with a sore shoulder and couldn’t shake the discomfort during pregame stretching.

  7. HBT Extra: It’s World Series or bust for the Washington Nationals

    Apr 1, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    Max Scherzer Getty Images

    Jenna and I continue to preview the divisions. Next up: the NL East.

  8. Duke ace, potential No. 1 pick Mike Matuella needs Tommy John surgery

    Apr 1, 2015, 4:26 PM EDT

    Mike Matuella Duke

    Matuella started six games this season, throwing 25 innings with a 1.08 ERA and 24 strikeouts.

  9. 2015 Preview: Colorado Rockies

    Apr 1, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies spring training in Scottsdale Getty Images

    With a new GM and questions surrounding the futures of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, where are the Rockies headed?

  10. Video: Inside the park home runs are kinda lame

    Apr 1, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.58.01 PM

    Allen Craig hit one today. Yawn.

  11. Wrigley Field has a jumbotron, you guys

    Apr 1, 2015, 3:03 PM EDT

    Wrigley Field

    Now you all will know when it is time to “MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!!”

  12. Justin Verlander resumes throwing, but disabled list stint remains possible

    Apr 1, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    justin verlander getty Getty Images

    Verlander has never been on the disabled list in his 10-year career.

  13. 2015 Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

    Apr 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels Getty Images

    The Phillies are going to be bad in 2015. But just how bad?

  14. Phillies waived $12 million Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, but no team wanted him

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez Getty Images

    Philadelphia’s pitching staff isn’t exactly stacked, but Gonzalez blew his chance to make the team by allowing 12 runs in 14 spring training innings.

  15. The Mets and Juan Lagares are close to a four-year extension

    Apr 1, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    Juan Lagares Getty Getty Images

    The Mets are locking up one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.

  16. Astros demote first baseman Jon Singleton to Triple-A

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jonathan Singleton Getty Getty Images

    If he crushes Triple-A pitching he’ll be back soon enough.

  17. Marlins reliever Aaron Crow needs Tommy John surgery

    Apr 1, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Aaron Crow AP

    Miami gave up left-hander Brian Flynn and minor leaguer Reid Redman to get Crow from Kansas City.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Fernandez (5021)
  2. A. Rendon (4429)
  3. Y. Tomas (4179)
  4. C. Martinez (4035)
  5. K. Jansen (4034)
  1. J. Verlander (3958)
  2. C. Davis (3818)
  3. H. Pence (3739)
  4. A. Cobb (3632)
  5. C. Rodon (3605)