Luke Hochevar hopes to begin throwing off a mound in January

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Fresh off signing a new two-year, $10 million contract with the Royals this week, Luke Hochevar told Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that he hopes to begin throwing off a mound in January.

Hochevar missed the entire 2014 season following Tommy John surgery. The 31-year-old is currently limited to playing catch, but hasn’t had any setbacks in his rehab. He still has some important hurdles to cross, but the expectation is that he will be ready for Opening Day. Hochevar actually pitched with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament from 2010 until this past March, so he already feels a world of difference.

“I keep telling them over and over again, ‘I feel better now then before I had surgery,’” Hochevar said. “That’s a good sign. Hopefully it just continues this way.”

A first-round pick of the Royals in 2006, Hochevar was a bust as a starting pitcher, but he dominated with a shift to the bullpen in 2013 by posting a 1.92 ERA (215 ERA+) with an 82/17 K/BB ratio over 70 1/3 innings. It’s a scary thought to add him back into the mix in 2015, though the Royals could cash in on their reliever surplus and deal Greg Holland or Wade Davis.

Orioles set new MLB record with 259th home run allowed

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Update (9:04 PM EST): The game went into a rain delay with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 2-2 tie, so the game isn’t official yet. Which means the Orioles aren’t yet the official record holders.

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A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.

The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.

David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.

The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.