Sunday, April 20, 2008

Your Sunday starter: Luke Hochevar

Recalled from Triple-A Omaha to start today's game, Luke Hochevar.

Stats this year: 3 GS, 1-1, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 12 K, 2.60 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

The K rate's not great, and ideally you'd prefer your pitchers to walk fewer than a batter every three innings, but we're nitpicking here. If you remember how well Hochevar pitched down the stretch last season -- including his final few starts in Omaha -- and how he performed this spring, you'll agree this call-up is well deserved.

The big question, though, isn't whether Hochevar can maintain consistency of delivery in the big leagues or if the expectations associated with being the No. 1 overall pick will weigh too heavily on him. Of greater concern: How will his departure affect the first-place Omaha Royals?

As long as Angel Berroa's batting .364/.375/.582, they'll keep winning.

POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of Berroa... Chris Rasmussen of Bugs and Cranks is on the record as suggesting Berroa would be a suitable replacement for Tony Pena Jr. at short. It's not as crazy as it sounds. We'd prefer Alberto Callaspo, but at this point, the Royals pitchers could bat and that'd still be a better option than Pena. Rasmussen's got the stats to prove it, too (linked above).

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