Tonight the Royals’ MLB-best bullpen and its 1.00 ERA are expected to get closer Greg Holland back from the disabled list and Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that they’re also likely to get setup man Luke Hochevar back this weekend.
Hochevar missed all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery and was a terrible starter from 2007-2012, but the former No. 1 overall pick thrived after shifting to the bullpen full time in 2013 with a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 70 innings.
If he returns to pick up anywhere near where he left off the Royals’ bullpen is going to be ridiculously scary, with Holland ranking as one of the elite closers in baseball and his setup men consisting of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson, Franklin Morales, Jason Frasor, and Hochevar.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: