User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Inconsistent Hochevar looks to put wins together

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Luke Hochevar is a paradox.

Advertisement
``You break down Luke's starts last season, half of them were at the top of the league,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said Sunday. ``The other half were at the bottom of the league. So it's just inconsistency.''

Hochevar had an 8-0 record with a 2.38 ERA in the 13 starts he made that Kansas City won, according to STATS LLC. The top pick in the 2006 amateur draft was 0-16 with an 8.47 ERA in the 19 of his starts the Royals lost.

He wasn't streaky, either. He won consecutive starts just once, against Houston and Tampa Bay in mid-June. Hochevar didn't lose three in a row until his final outings of the season.

``I'd have a really good game and the next game would be terrible,'' he said. ``I'm thinking what the heck is the difference? I feel like mentally it's the exact same, my approach is the exact same, my focus is the exact same. And something was happening. It was feast or famine last year.''

The Royals' opening-day starter in 2011, Hochevar finds himself competing with Bruce Chen and Luis Mendoza for the No. 5 slot in the rotation.

``I think he's capable of winning 15 to 18 games in the American League,'' Yost said. ``Is it there? Yeah, it's there. Has it been consistent? No, not really. We have to get a point where he can consistently be a productive performer every five days. I think he's going to do it this year. He's got great stuff. He's a smart kid. Sooner or later all those things are going to come together for him and he's going to be successful. He's got too many plusses for it not all add up in the end.''

It hasn't happened yet.

Hochevar finished 8-16 last year, gave up an AL-high 127 runs and had a 5.73 ERA, second-worst among qualifiers and ahead of only Toronto's Ricky Romero at 5.77.

``I'm not going to sit here and make excuses,'' Hochevar said. ``I own last year. I own everything. I'm not going to run from it. I understand the things I need to do to be consistent and to have that big year, that I expect and that everybody expects. I'm just as excited to get everything rocking and rolling.''

Opponents hit .318 off him with runners in scoring position. With no one on base, the average dropped to .260.

``When I get in stressful situations or from the stretch when I try to step on the gas, I get a soft front side,'' Hochevar said. ``The ball comes out flat, I usually miss location, make a bad pitch and whack.''

Hochevar said he spent the offseason watching video of his stretch delivery and is focused on correcting flaws.

``So now when I do step on the gas, reach back for a second gear, my execution is still good,'' Hochevar said. ``It's something I've really worked on.''

He began last season as the No. 2 starter behind left-hander Bruce Chen. After the Royals acquired right-handers James Shields, Ervin Santana and Wade Davis in offseason trades and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie, Hochevar has plunged down the potential pecking order.

``I don't get caught up in that,'' Hochevar said. ``It's not the first time I've fought for a spot in the rotation. It's not like unfamiliar ground. I'm more locked into my approach and what I need to do to help this club, more so than who is going to have the last spot. I need to pitch to my ability to help this club. If I don't, it's on me.''

NOTES: Chen and Mendoza are to start a Tuesday intrasquad game, while Hochevar and rookie LHP John Lamb are scheduled to start the Wednesday intrasquad game. ... OF Lorenzo Cain hurt his right hand in drills and was held out of batting practice. ... LHP Everett Teaford, who had held out of recent drills because of a tender shoulder, is scheduled to resume throwing Monday.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Dodgers top error-prone Mets, 6-2
Gray pitches into 9th, A's top Angels
Twins rough up visiting Tigers 20-6
Collmenter, D-Backs beat Padres 5-1
Braves send Reds to 7th straight loss
Arrieta leads Cubs past Orioles 4-1
Smyly, Rays blank Jays, 'under' hits
Phillies slip past Cards for 5-4 win
Astros defeat sloppy Indians, 5-1
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
7-0 +793 L7, 10-1 +1,014 Streak
8-0 L3 Days, 20-7 L27 Guarantees
11-2 L13, 18-4 +1,647 This Month
35-14 L49 G-Plays, +8,848 TY
9-1 +1,170 L10 G-Plays, +2,972 TY
23-8 +2,048 Run, 12-3 G-Plays
6-2 L8, 14-4 +1,126 MLB Streak
5-1 +432 L6 G-Plays, +2,293 TY
12-6 L18 Guaranteed Plays
+2,261 Overall This Year
7-2 L9 G-Plays, 15-8 L23 Picks
7-1 L8 Picks, 11-2 Win Streak
2-0 Y'day, +1,765 Over/Unders TY
16-4 Last 20 Guarantees
8-1, +747 Record L2 Days
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - MLB Playoffs
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 8848
Doc's Sports + 3412
The Gold Sheet + 2972
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2283
Dave Cokin + 2254
James Manos + 2189
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2733
Tony Stoffo + 1765
Joe Williams + 1095
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 2037
Dave Cokin + 1640
Kyle Hunter + 1588
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3250
Doc's Sports + 1480
Kevin Rogers + 1473
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2763
Kevin Rogers + 1203
Doc's Sports + 1197
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!