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Luke Hochevar Predicted To Be In For 'Really Good Year' In 2012

The Kansas City Royals need someone -- anyone, really -- to step up and become the consistent ace in the starting rotation. While there are several prospects who could eventually fill that role, the Royals are hoping that some of the live arms currently in the majors can elevate their game. Luke Hochevar is one such player, and new pitching coach Dave Eiland believes this will be his year.

ESPN's Buster Olney writes, "Standing on the field before the Royals' opener the other day, pitching coach Dave Eiland said he thought Luke Hochevar is in for a really good year, because he had made some adjustments, putting his arm in position to drive the ball on a downward plane. Eiland is certainly right, so far: Hochevar shut down the Angels."

Hochevar beat the Angels on Saturday in 6-plus innings, allowing only five hits and two runs while striking out four. Last season, Hochevar went 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA in 198 innings. It was a season that showed he can be the ironman at the front of the rotation, but the results weren't consistent. With Eiland's help, Hochevar could turn the corner and help the Royals franchise do the same.