Morning Phil Up – 3/8/2014 – American League Roundup


Luke Hochevar. Image Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

A few links from around the American League:

ESPN.comRoyals’ Luke Hochevar Out for Season

After years of finishing out of the playoffs, the Kansas City Royals had hopes of finally returning to the postseason in 2014. Those hopes took a blow on Friday when they learned that Luke Hochevar, one of their best relief pitchers, will miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Hochevar had suffered a tear of his UCL in 2010, but was able to return without surgery.  This time around, it appears that the only way to fix the injury is with an operation.

Halos HeavenCould the Angels be the New Braves?

The Atlanta Braves spent the offseason signing their young core of stars to long-term deals. Could the Angels take a similar approach? They have several young players who could conceivably be signed to long extensions, but the most pressing issue is Mike Trout. In just two seasons, Trout has already established himself as possibly the best player in baseball. Trout’s camp is looking for a six-year deal, but the Angels would prefer something longer. Is it possible for the two sides to work out a compromise?

Bless You BoysAustin Jackson Clobbering Baseballs Again

Austin Jackson’s struggles against left-handed pitching came to a head in the 2013 ALCS when he fared so poorly that manager Jim Leyland had to drop him in the batting order. Jackson immediately began to perform well again, and that has seemed to carry over into Spring Training. Now the question is: Where will Jackson end up in the batting order? While he might eventually find himself back in the leadoff spot, for now, he seems to be doing quite well further down in the lineup.

Top of the TowerEncouraging Outing from Ricky Romero

Ricky Romero is one of the pitchers trying to earn a spot in the Toronto Blue Jays’ rotation, and he made a strong case for himself on Friday. In two inning of work against the Rays, Romero gave up no runs and had three strikeouts. While this was encouraging, it should be noted that most of the Rays’ regular hitters had already left the game by the time Romero entered. It will be interesting to see how he does his next time out if he faces better talent.