Luke Hochevar expected to begin season on disabled list

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Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar is in the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star writes that he’s “unlikely” to be ready for the season.

Hochevar, who is almost exactly one year removed from surgery, tossed a scoreless inning in his Cactus League debut last Thursday and delivered another scoreless frame today. He hasn’t had any setbacks, but the Royals are being cautious and giving him three days between appearances right now. If all goes well, he should be ready at some point in April.

Hochevar, 31, thrived with a transition to relief in 2013 by posting a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings. Despite missing all of last season, the Royals retained him on a two-year, $10 million contract with a mutual option for 2017. The Royals’ bullpen was already a strength in 2014, but they could be ever scarier if Hochevar comes back healthy and effective.