Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bannister Recalled from Omaha

As expected, Brian Bannister will be pitching for Kansas City in April. The Royals put Doug Waechter on the 15-day DL and recalled Bannister with the intention of giving him the start on Wednesday night in Cleveland. He’ll be taking Horacio Ramirez’s spot in the rotation. Who didn’t see that one coming—at least the part about Ramirez being replaced in the rotation before April was over?

The question is, does Banny deserve the spot or should Luke Hochevar have been recalled instead? Bannister has been sharp in his last couple of starts in Omaha. He’s 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA. But Luke Hochevar is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA and he clearly outpitched Bannister in Spring Training. The Royals obviously see something in Banny that they like so he gets the nod. Hochevar’s time will come.

Here’s something to consider . . . the Royals signed Ramirez for $1.8 million this season and they signed Kyle Farnsworth for $9 million for two seasons. Instead they could have kept Jimmy Gobble (using him as a situational lefty) and put Bannister or Hochevar in the rotation instead of in Omaha—saving somewhere around $4.5 million this season while getting more production.

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