Results tagged ‘ Luke Hochevar ’
In today’s pregame interview with manager Ned Yost, questions focused on the pitching staff. The first hurler to be discussed was Bryan Bullington. Having just earned his first Major League win after 8.0 innings of shutout work against the Yankees on Sunday, the media asked if the righty would see another start. Yost replied by saying he doesn’t know what the future holds, it could all depend on how Brian Bannister looks after throwing his next side, which was scheduled for today. Yost added that the eventual return of Luke Hochevar will force the coaches to make even more decisions about the pitching rotation. When asked how close Hochevar is to being ready, Yost said he is pretty close, as is reliever Robinson Tejeda.
Yost also provided his thoughts on pitchers who seem to have success in their first several starts in the Majors, saying most of the success is due to luck and the fact that teams have never seen the pitchers before. However, he was also quick to note that this was not the case for Bullington, who had also thrown very well in his first start this year against the Angels as well.
Luke Hochevar, Robinson Tejeda, and Gil Meche are all chomping at the bit to get back on the field. Yost said Meche threw very well today and has looked good in his last couple outings.
The Young Guns
According to Yost, the Royals lost veterans on purpose in order to take a look at younger players. Yost said it takes time for new guys to get in a groove, but you just have to let them play and go through it. He added that they are all in the big leagues for a reason–because they have all had success.
Yost also discussed Kila Ka’aihue’s numbers at the plate. Ka’aihue enters tonight’s contest hitting .103, but Yost says he looks for good at-bats and execution, not at averages.
Aviles to see time at third
Mike Aviles took groundballs at third base in an early workout today. Ned Yost would like to give third baseman Wilson Betemit a day off here and there as Betemit has had hamstring and legs problems in the past. Yost said that Betemit does not have an injury now, but that this is a preventative measure. The use of Aviles at third base will also open up more time for Chris Getz at second base, who the club wants to get a longer look at. Aviles could play at third as early as tomorrow. He is doing well as he progresses in his recovery from “Tommy John” surgery.
Luke to the mound?
Luke Hochevar continues to throw on flat ground and has worked his way up to tosses of 75 feet. He could be throwing off the mound in the next 10 days.
A reporter asked about Zack Greinke and his struggles in his last start against Minnesota. Yost talked about his coaching experience in Atlanta with ace pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. The three would have days where they would dominate, days where they would be ok and days where they would get hit hard. Yost said that no one is immune and there is no explanation for it. The best pitchers minimize the number of times that they are hit hard. He expects Zack to be fine.
With the news of Scott Podsednik’s trade to the Dodgers not even a day old, Yost faced several questions regarding the impact the move will have on the team. First, Yost pointed out that the loss of Podsednik creates the opportunity for Alex Gordon to further develop on a day-to-day basis as an outfielder. Yost also added that the change allots more playing time to Mitch Maier. Furthermore, Yost sees the move as a positive exchange for two quality players, catcher Lucas May and pitcher Elisaul Pimentel, whom he views as adding depth to the organization. Yost believes creating depth is very important and will be key to not missing a beat in critical situations, such as when Gil Meche and Luke Hochevar were placed on the disabled list and the quality pitchers necessary to fill the void simply were not there. The manager also noted the downside of the trade, however, saying that the team lost a .300 hitter and a spark on the bases, as well as a real pro and classy individual. In the end, Yost sees the trade as a move made in the best interest of the organization because it is crucial to increase the talent base at the minor league level and to allow home grown players (such as Gordon) more time to develop at the Major League level.
Without Podsednik in the order, the lineup will look a bit different from now on. Willie Bloomquist will bat leadoff in tonight’s game, but Yost said the spot will vary from day-to-day. Yost believes the Royals no longer have a prototypical leadoff hitter, but he doesn’t see this as a major problem, adding that Bloomquist, Maier, and Jason Kendall are all capable of hitting in the one spot.
The recent vacancy of Podsednik’s roster position also created changes in the bullpen, with right-hander Greg Holland being called up from Triple-A Omaha. Yost said he opted for a pitcher in this situation because the bullpen has been in a flux and he doesn’t want to overuse guys. He thinks Holland will be able to split some time and showcase his 94-97 mph fastball, though he admitted Holland need to improve his command that he has struggled with at times in the minors.
Just a day after Gil Meche allowed seven runs on eight hits in his second rehab start, Yost announced that it is very likely the pitcher will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery in the near future. Yost said though the exact cause is unclear, Meche is still experiencing pain in his throwing shoulder, which leaves Meche and the Royals with their final option: surgery. Simply speculating, Yost imagines the doctors will have to go in and clean up the problem area with a scope, though he added that it could also be a repair job. According to Yost, Meche is feeling a little down because he worked very hard and did everything he could to get back this year, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. When asked what kind of an impact this loss will have on the team, Yost replied that it’s always a blow when a team loses a guy like Meche who is capable of winning ballgames, but the Royals will just have to move on.
Yost also provided a brief update on pitcher Luke Hochevar, saying he threw two sessions of 25 from 60 feet in his second outing since being placed on the disabled list. Yost added that right now Hochevar is in the strengthening mode and has no set return date, though the manager expects it will be fairly soon and he is on schedule.
With the Royals now on a six-game losing streak, Yost said that they will have to fight through adversity by making adjustments and moving on. He added that a team doesn’t let losing streaks develop, they just happen. However, Yost does believe that you can control some aspects of the game such as preparation and focus, which Yost said every player must possess from the first pitch to the last. He stated that as manager, his main concern is getting the team prepared everyday, but unfortunately yesterday was the first time since he’s been the Royals’ skipper that he felt the team wasn’t focused 100 percent. Yost said he addressed the issue and has moved on.
The manager also confirmed that Gil Meche is still scheduled for a rehab start on Wednesday with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Yost imagines his pitch count will be around 40-60 pitches. Also, Luke Hochevar is still recovering from a bit of stiffness in his elbow after having an MRI this past week. Hochevar won’t throw until the stiffness is gone.
Tonight’s pregame included Ned Yost presenting Billy Butler and Luke Hochevar with their awards as Kansas City’s Player and Pitcher of the Month for May. Butler batted .355 and finished tied for fourth in the majors with 39 hits. Hochevar led the club with three wins, including a complete game on May 20 at Cleveland. Congrats to Billy and Luke!
Georgia on my mind
Yost thinks it will be fun to play in Atlanta and looks forward to seeing his former boss, Bobby Cox. Yost spoke very highly of the Braves manager, saying that Cox is a very special person who doesn’t really even compare to anyone else.
Hey now, you’re an all-star
Having been to four All-Star games himself, Yost thinks the 2012 All-Star game will be a wonderful time that all of Kansas City can enjoy. He believes that a top-notch ballpark like Kauffman will without a doubt be the perfect venue for such a once in a lifetime experience–both for the spectators and the players.
Get your roll on
Yost also discussed the bullpen’s improvements, which he credits to the players’ confidence in and understanding of their rolls. He is especially pleased with Kyle Farnsworth who has pitched “spectacular” and has been on a “real nice run.” Yost would, however, like to get Joakim Soria in more games.
Hurt so good
Gil Meche is making progress and threw 10-15 pitches off the mound for the first time since being put on the DL due to bursitis in his pitching shoulder. Additionally, Luke Hochevar, who was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 12, feels much better and was symptom free yesterday.
RAIN DELAY UPDATE – We are in a delay until at least 8:00 p.m. Stay tuned to FSKC, the Royals Radio Network and our Twitter account ( @aroundthehornkc ) for updates.
The top news during today’s interview concerned recent changes to the roster. Yost announced that Luke Hochevar will be placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 12, due to a right elbow sprain. Anthony Lerew arrived from Omaha earlier today to take over Hochevar’s starting spot in tomorrow’s contest. In order to make room for Lerew on KC’s 40-man roster, John Parrish was released. Yost hopes that Hochevar will only miss two starts.
Lerew then provided the media with a few words, mainly saying that he was surprised and happy to get the call, and he will be looking to beat hitters with his change, slider, and fastball.
Finally, Hochevar discussed his injury with the media. The grade one sprain was discovered after having an MRI on Monday. Hochevar said he felt tight this past Friday at Cincinnati, but really didn’t have any pain. He added that he is keeping the long-term in mind, so he won’t push it so far that he causes serious damage. Hochevar’s focus is now on being serious about his rehab, which will include a lot of ice and stim, a shoulder program, and forearm strengthening.
According to Yost, Zack Greinke has been pressing too much and has been trying to be perfect every pitch, which was especially evident in Greinke’s last outing. Yost believes the pitcher needs to stay within himself and not force his pitches, like Luke Hochevar did last night when he softened up instead of muscling up. Yost told Greinke to focus on controlling what he can control and just take a half step back and let his stuff work.
Forget about it
After allowing three runs on three hits last night, there were some concerns regarding Blake Wood and his ability to bounce back. Yost, however, has no doubts. He believes Wood has incredible poise and won’t be affected by yesterday’s outing. In fact, Yost said he’d be shocked if there were any lingering issues.
He can do it all
Yost also discussed Willie Bloomquist’s start in left field. The utility man will be replacing Scott Podsednik for the day, so Podsednik can essentially get two days rest since tomorrow is an off day. Bloomquist will also be replacing Podsednik in the lead off spot, which Yost feels very comfortable with because Bloomquist has a very professional approach, has been hitting the ball well, can steal bases, and is overall a complete player.
There were also a couple questions concerning the upcoming draft, but Yost quickly responded by saying he’s just trying to win baseball games and has no idea who the Royals are looking at.