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Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Solid Start Against The Swing

Luke Hochevar made his second start of the year against the Quad Cities Swing and got a better chance to show what he's capable of with a 50 pitch limit. He threw four shutout innings with three strikeouts. He did give up a hit, a walk and hit a batter but was still described as "dominant". Unlike his last game, the Burlington Bees did hold on for the win. He should get two more starts this season, since Burlington will not be making the playoffs barring a complete miracle.

For the short summary, here's Luke's line:
4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Friday, August 18, 2006

 

First Start in Burlington

Luke Hochevar made his first professional start with the Class-A Burlington Bees Wednesday, August 16. He looked good despite being limited to only two innings and 32 pitches. Hochevar struck out two, giving up no hits and the only blemishes on record were a wild pitch and an error by Mario Lisson.

Keep in mind that it was only Class-A ball so a dominating performance doesn't mean as much. But the best part about this start is his confidence and his chance to test out his pitches again in a game situation. As reported by the official Royals site, he said, "I was able to get into counts where I can use all my pitches. That was really the key, where I could sharpen all my pitches and get into that mode." The Kansas City Star also pulled a nice quote out of him that shows this confidence when he told them “When I step on the mound, I ask myself every time, ‘Am I prepared for this?’ I’ve never said no. It’s not nervous. It’s more like, ‘I finally get to prove this.’ ”

Hochevar is set to pitch again Monday against the Quad Cities Swing and will get a better chance to show his stuff with his pitch count bumped up to 50. It looks like the main goals during his Burlington stint are just to get his pitch count higher and work on developing his change-up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

 

Getting Ready for the First Start

Luke Hochevar has been getting ready for his first start, which looks like it'll go as scheduled this Wednesday. The Kansas City Star is reporting that Luke's only scheduled to throw 30-35 pitches. I was a little disappointed at the low pitch count, but it makes sense. There's no point in overworking someone who has a long offseason ahead of him. It looks like this Burlington stint is just something to get him warmed up for the Fall league.

Friday, August 04, 2006

 

Luke Signed, Placed on 40 Man Roster

Luke Hochevar has finally been signed. What everyone's reporting is that it's worth $5.3 million guaranteed with a $3.5 million signing bonus and can reach $7 million with incentives. The contract lasts through 2009.

But what's more exciting to me is that it sounds like the Royals have a good idea of what they want to do with Luke. He's being assigned to Class A Burlington, where he could be starting as early as August 16. He won't get too many starts with the minor league season ending soon but will get some offseason work in the Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League. His next stop is expected to be Double-A Wichita for the start of the next season. So he won't be contributing quite as quickly as I thought when he got drafted but this is a quicker progression than I was expecting after the signing delay.

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