Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Roster Coming Together

As we head into the home stretch of Spring Training, Dayton Moore is getting close to setting the roster for Opening Day. There have been some surprises along the way and some givens.

One of the surprises was Jimmy Gobble being released (he’s since signed with the Rangers and then was released by them).

Another one of the surprises was Luke Hochevar being sent to Omaha recently. After going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 16.1 IP this spring, it looked like he had a lock on the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Not so, though. Hillman pointed out a couple of things Hochevar needs to work on:

“There are things he needs to finish off to be more successful as a Major League starter. Primarily, pitching to both sides of the plate with consistency to allow his great stuff to open up the zone to secondary stuff. And be more consistent in monitoring damage when he gets in a bind—keep it a single-run inning instead of two or three or four on the board.”

We learned today that Sidney Ponson and Horacio Ramirez are the fourth and fifth starters to open the season. Brian Bannister was optioned to Omaha. Who would have thought that Omaha would have both Hochevar and Bannister in the rotation to start the season? I just received my media credentials yesterday for the 2009 Omaha Royals season, so I should be able to bring you a first hand report about how both are doing as the season gets underway.

So, for the record, here is the starting rotation to open the season: (1) Gil Meche (2) Zack Greinke (3) Kyle Davies (4) Sidney Ponson (5) Horacio Ramirez. But technically, Ramirez will start the season in the bullpen since there are three open dates in the schedule in April. He’ll move to the rotation in mid-April.

If you’ve been wondering what the Royals were going to do with Ross Gload this season—the answer is, trade him to the Florida Marlins for a player to be named later and cash.

They Royals also released Joel Peralta and placed John Bale on the 15-day DL. Neither of which was a big surprise. So, the team is down to 32 players in camp. Seven more to go.

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