Luke Hochevar returned to action on Tuesday and recorded a scoreless inning for Class AAA Omaha. It was his ninth outing on this rehabilitation stint as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and almost surely one of his last.
Friday marks the 30th day of the assignment, which means the Royals must make a choice that is not really a choice. The team has to either recall Hochevar to the majors or designate him for assignment. Hochevar is out of options, and would surely be claimed on waivers. Kansas City signed him to a two-year contract this winter, so Hochevar is expected to rejoin the club this weekend in Detroit.
Hochevar sports a 7.84 ERA for the Storm Chasers. A significant portion of the damage occurred on May 1, when he allowed seven runs in 1.2 innings. Team officials insist they are not particularly concerned with Hochevar’s results — for example, in that disastrous outing, Hochevar was instructed to concentrate solely on fastball command.
As he finishes up his stint, the team sent assistant general manager Scott Sharp to Omaha to observe Hochevar’s final outings. Rival scouts and Royals officials alike have clocked his fastball from 92 mph to 96 mph. Manager Ned Yost has said repeatedly that Hochevar is not expected to find his top form until later in the season.
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FROM THE STAR
1. Jason Vargas rebounded from a rough April, Eric Hosmer supplied some power and Blair Kerkhoff told the tale.
2. Sam Mellinger wrote a column about the nightly communion between the Royals and their fans.
3. Greg Holland will rejoin the Royals on Wednesday. Yohan Pino was optioned.
4. Kyle Zimmer suffered a setback. Again.
5. Alex Rios is still two weeks away, at least, from a return.
6. The Royals will dress as Los Reales on July 25.
7. Here is Tuesday’s chat transcript.
THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)
HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC
“How Could You Babe” by Tobias Jesso, Jr.