The Kansas City Royals needed Luke Hochevar to turn the corner this season into the consistent frontline starter they hoped that he would be when they made him the first overall selection in the 2006 MLB Draft. Unfortunately things have not played out that way at all in 2012. In fact, Hochevar has been on a slide in his last couple of starts, with yesterday's loss to the New York Yankees as the latest example. Yet Royals manager Ned Yost doesn't seem concerned.
"Right now, Hoch is in a rut, and he's having trouble getting out of it," manager Ned Yost said. "He's struggling with his command. ... His stuff is good, but he gets to a point where he starts fighting his location and balls are hitting the fat part of the plate."
"Pitchers do get in slumps like hitters do, and he's definitely in one now. But it's nothing that I don't think he can't work himself out of and get to be a productive member of our starting rotation."
Hochevar allowed six runs in the third inning yesterday during a 10-4 loss at Kauffman. His previous start, Hochevar allowed 9 runs to the Detroit Tigers on May 1. While those are two of the tougher line-ups in baseball, those sorts of results are simply unacceptable and the Royals simply have no margin for such error. Hochevar says it's hard placing that pressure on his teammates at the plate.
"Obviously, this is not where I want to be - putting the team in a hole and not giving us a chance to win," Hochevar said. "It's definitely not where I want to be."
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