Kansas City announced its rotation and as expected Luke Hochevar will get the Opening Day start against the Angels despite a 5.60 career ERA that includes a 4.81 mark in 18 outings last year.
Of course, the Royals being the Royals they don’t really have any clearly better options.
Jeff Francis, Kyle Davies, and Bruce Chen will follow Hochevar in the rotation and Vin Mazzaro has won the final spot, but he’ll begin the season at Triple-A because the Royals won’t need a fifth starter for a couple weeks.
If healthy Francis is a pretty good bet to emerge as the Royals’ best starter this season, but that isn’t really saying much. Starting a guy with a 5.60 ERA on Opening Day and it not being a particularly crazy decision is a big part of why the Royals are very capable of losing 95-plus games for a fourth straight season. Their lineup has a chance to be pretty decent, but the pitching staff is going to be ugly.