OTC: Hochevar and Sanchez Leave Royals With No Options / Fans Left To Sit Back & Take It

“Luke Hochevar’s last 2 starts: 6 1-3 innings, 16 runs, 19 hits, 4 walks and one hit-by-pitch.”
David Skretta, @APdaveskretta, Twitter

“We’re not in a position to just discard players who have shown they can be successful in the past.”
Dayton Moore, when asked if the Royals are considering demoting Hochevar from the starting rotation, 610 AM
GH: Few pitchers in the Royals’ past have galvanized the club’s fan base like Luke Hochevar – and not in a good way. The Twitter meltdown after his last start on Sunday was filled with the same contempt usually reserved for guys named Glass. Read on.

“I’m not advocating that the Royals release Hochevar after the game. But I’d completely understand if they did.”
Rany Jazayerli, @jazayerli, after Hochevar gave up six earned runs in two innings to the Yankees, Twitter
GH: Moore was adamant that Hochevar isn’t going anywhere. Realistically, the Royals have few options but to send him to the mound every fifth start and hope he remembers why he was the club’s first overall pick in the 2006 draft. Hochevar is exactly the kind of pitcher the Royals look for when pursuing the free agent market – a high draft pick who at one time showed talent but whose performance numbers are down making him affordable and signable. In other words, he is Jonathan Sanchez. Yes, this is our Kansas City Royals.

“Picks like Luke Hochevar as the #1 overall pick in the draft are a big reason why the Royals (despite other positives) are where they are.”
Greg Schaum, @Greg_Schaum, Twitter
GH: The Hochevar pick technically falls under the reign of Allard Baird since Moore didn’t take over the Royals’ GM duties until days after the draft. But the reality is that Moore has been his GM for his entire career and defended the pick at every opportunity.

“Sometimes he cares too much.”
Dayton Moore, on Hochevar, 610 AM
GH: This is exactly the opposite of what Mike Boddicker had to say about Hochevar’s indifference to losing. Watching Hochevar serve batting practice his last two starts makes me wonder what Moore is watching.

“We’re not going to panic. We’ve got to continue to search and look for answers.”
Dayton Moore, on Jonathan Sanchez’s disappointing performance as a starter, 610 AM
GH: The Royals have no room to panic. It’s not an option because their starting pitching in the minors looks to be just as suspect as the big club’s. So Royals’ fans are once again asked to wait, be patient and pretend this is our time.

“Trust me when I tell you, it eats them up.”
Dayton Moore, on how badly Hochevar and Sanchez feel over their performances as starters, 610 AM
GH: I’m always skeptical of people who need to preface a sentence with “Trust me…”

“When does Hosmer take some heat? When does he get dropped in the lineup?”
Soren Petro, @theprogram, Twitter
GH: Does Hosmer deserve some heat? No. He’s a second-year player going through a tough slump. I want him in the lineup every day.

“I don’t think they are nearly as worried about [Hosmer] as the starting pitching.”
Robert Ford, 610 AM

“Well, not necessarily as much.”
Dayton Moore, when asked by Bob Fescoe if Johnny Giavotella needed to be an every-day player if/when he’s called up, 610 AM
GH: Moore stated that Gio is “enroute” to Kansas City. The question is who is heading down or has been dealt? 

“Nonsense. I’ve never spoken to anyone about selling the club.”
David Glass, when asked by Bob Dutton about rumors the Royals are for sale, Kansas City Star
GH: A better question to David is what is your succession plan when you die? Is Tommy Boy our new owner?

“I don’t think Dan Glass has any impact on the baseball team. I think he is a non-entity.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM

“I couldn’t disagree with you more.”
Kevin Kietzman, responding to Boal’s take on Dan Glass, 810 AM
GH: Once David dies, Dan could be the head man. Then what happens?

“If you equate ‘tough’ with throwing a baseball at someone who hasn’t done anything to deserve it, you’re a tool.”
Ivan Carter, @IvanCarterCSN, after Cole Hamels said he plunked the Nats’ 19-year-old rookie sensation, Bryce Harper, to welcome him to the big leagues, Twitter

“Cole Hamels says he’s old school? He’s the polar opposite of old school. He’s fake tough. He thinks he’s going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who’s eight games into the big leagues? He doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.”
Mike Rizzo, Nationals GM, The Washington Post
GH: I have never understood anyone tolerating a pitcher throwing at a batter – in any era. It always seemed like a chicken-shit move to me.  

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

21 Responses to OTC: Hochevar and Sanchez Leave Royals With No Options / Fans Left To Sit Back & Take It

  1. AaronB4Mizzou says:

    Do the Royals really have no one out there who can do better than Hochevar? Seriously, there’s got to be someone in the system who can put up an ERA under 5.25 and make it into the 6th. Your not asking any of the kids or journeymen to replace Keven Appier or even Gil Meche, your asking them to replace one of the worst SP in the last 50 years.

    I’ll grant that Hochevar really did have a nice season in 2011, so there is legit hope. They just need to send him to the pen so that he can hopefully taste some success. Either that or attempt to trade him. You can’t release him, but you do need to figure something out quick. He’s just pitching like a kid who knows he’ll get hit hard, and that’s not doing anyone any favors.

    BTW: Kyle Davies, who the Royals swore up & down that teams would line up to grab, is still apparently a FA, go figure. I guess teams don’t like that career WHIP of nearly 1.8 and ERA over 5 1/2.

    It appears like the Royals have no clue in identifying young pitching, and that should scare the hell out of Royals fans.

    • jjskck says:

      I know we were desperately clinging to the narrative that Hochevar had a nice season and turned the corner in 2011, but he had a friggin’ 4.68 ERA in a down offensive year. ERA+ of 88 (league average is 100). Barely a replacement-level player (WAR of 0.5).

  2. Kyle says:

    When does football start?

  3. Cliffy says:

    There’s nothing wrong with throwing high and tight to a batter crowding the plate. I agree that throwing at a guys head is wrong, but I’d like to see you call Bob Gibson chicken shit to his face. That would be entertaining. It really would.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Hamels didn’t throw “high and tight” at Bryce Harper. He hit him intentially. Where he hit Harper doesn’t matter to me. It’s a chickenshit move to stand 60 feet from someone and throw a baseball at his body. Why would you think it matters if the thrower is Gibson or Kyle Davies? Cowards come in all sizes and colors. Gibson was a jerk as a player and he’s not any better at being a human.

      • randyraley says:

        My only personal interaction with Gibson did not go well. Yes, he was a jerk and an ass to me. He is my all time player however because he feared nothing or no one. I don’t care if he was a saint or a sinner, but Gibson changed the game after the microscopic ERA in 1968. No one charged the mound when Gibson was on there, not even his catcher dared to talk to him. As far as talent, Nolan Ryan is as close as I’ve seen. Gibson was far from a coward, he just wanted to intimidate you in anyway he could. He never showed anyone up and I’d like to see what would happen if Pujols admired one of his pitches out of the park. The hitters learned not to mess with him. That made him better than them. Gibson was as tough as they came. He never “threw” at anyone without a reason, certainly not as one as stupid as Hamels. Sorry Greg, as a life long fan of baseball, we disagee on this one for sure. I’ll take Gibson and Ryan, pitch them every other day and take on anyone you’d like. I’d use the word asshole with Gibson, but never coward. Thank.

        • AaronB4Mizzou says:

          On Gibson…he’s a case where reputation was larger than the actual. Yes, lots of stories about how Gibson would throw at someone. He also allowed that reputation to grow. In reality, he was someone who simply wasn’t afraid to pitch inside and own the inside part of the plate.

          Gibson hit 102 batters in nearly 3900 IP for his career. He ranks 76th all-time in HB’s. Walter Johnson hit 205 for his career, the post 1900 career leader. Randy Johnson would have to be considered the modern day leader, having hit 190. The Big Train pitched around 5900 innings…the Big Unit pitched about 4100 innings, about one good season more than Gibson.

          Others on the list, knuckleballers have a tough time, with Tim Wakefield checking in at 186 & Charlie Hough not far behind. Roger Clemens checks in at 159 in about 4900 IP…and Jamie Moyer has nailed 145 batters in a bit over 4000IP.

      • Cliffy says:

        I made the comment tongue in cheek. I know what an a-hole Gibson was (and is). It was just a couple of years ago he chased a guy down and knocked the crap out of him in Omaha because he got cut off in traffic.

        That being said, I have his autographed jersey hanging in my man cave.

      • MrOlathe says:

        GH……I sent this to you a while back about Gibson. I was paired with him in a golf tournament about 10 years ago. He was quiet for the first few holes and then we went something like birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie and he was about as graciuos as could be. He signed some baseballs for me and gave me his address to send him anything else I wanted signed. That’s why I never just take some 2nd hand story as the whole story. Gibson obviously came up at a pretty tough time and had to deal with far more than 99% of us who read this blog will ever have to deal with. But to me he was a really good guy.

        My question is why exactly did Hamels have to hit Harper? I don’t think he had even batted had he? Isn’t the idea t hit a guy after a teammate had showed the pitcher up?

      • Juan De Guzman says:

        Cowards like Hamels wouldn’t pull be as inclined to pull that crap if the league they played made them take their own turn at the plate.

        • Multi-Tiger says:

          Hamel pitches for the Phillies, who play in the National League. Hamel does take his own turn at the plate and in fact was hit by a pitch later in this same game in retaliation for his hitting Harper. To his credit, Hamel took the hit and went to first base without incident.

  4. Greg says:

    Is it just me or does the entire Royals lineup look they have been told to chop down at the ball. Gordon, Butler and ESPECIALLY Hosmer. All chop down. It seemed like in the 8th last night Butler went to the plate and said to himself, “Seitzer tells us to chop at the ball constantly. I am not going to do that. I am going to try to drive the ball somewhere.”

    The Royals hitting approach (not to mention swinging at everything) is terrible.

    • Java Man says:

      It’s not just you, Greg. I mentioned the same thing as Billy came to bat in the 8th last night.

  5. TRich says:

    I’ve figured out the marketing plan for the Royals now that “Our Time” has blown up. Change the tag line to “Some Time”. Picture Dayton Moore sitting in front of a camera.
    Text only question: When Will Luke Hochevar Get Better?
    Cut to Dayton: “Some Time”

    Text Only Question: When Will The Royals Have A Major League Quality Pitching Staff?
    Cut to Dayton:”Some Time”

    Text Only Question: When Will The Royals Win Another World Series?
    Cut to Dayton: “Some Time”

    It’s a cheap fix too. You can just glue “Some” over “Our” on all the billboards and signage. I’ll take my fee in beer please.

  6. Chuck says:

    I went to the MLB website to take a look at who the Royals could have had with the #1 overall pick instead of Hochevar. I saw the name “Tim Lincecum.” There’s not much you can say about that. Lincecum.

    • jjskck says:

      Or Evan Longoria, or Clayton Kershaw. Of course, we could have also selected Greg Reynolds or the consensus #1 talent in the draft (Andrew Miller), neither of whom can stay in the big leagues. Baseball drafts are a crapshoot, especially when it comes to pitchers.

  7. JP says:

    Hochevar pitches like he’s accomplished all he wants to, by making it to the Majors. His body language never changes, and he rarely if ever makes it out of the 5th inning. The scary part is we could remember this staff as the good old days. I do like Duffy and Paulino (so far), but Sanchez has been a bust. Chen is a hit or miss guy, who is due for a good start.

    As for the Royals sale, why would the Star even print that article if there’s no substance to it. I don’t think Glass would sell before the All-Star Game (this is as close to post season as Glass as Owner will ever get). He was right to deny that. Maybe I’m missing something, but there may be something to the Royals being sold. And no they aren’t moving anywhere. There’s no place else in the country without a major league team that would be a better baseball market than KC.

    • Gassedup says:

      Do you think Glass would take the risk to be introduced at the All-Star Game and be potentially booed off the field.

      • chuck says:

        That is an interesting question.

        I would bet Glass wouldn’t take the chance.

        He is really good at that.

        Not takin a chance.

  8. Smartman says:

    Based on their salaries, Hochevar and Sanchez’s performance should translate into Walmart greeters getting paid about $127,573.58 per year.

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