Sunday, October 14, 2012

Building Depth in the Rotation

"Hopefully, Odorizzi, Smith and Adock are all pitching at Omaha when the season starts." -Royals Club Official
I don't know about you, but this is exactly the kind of quotation I was looking to hear heading into the offseason. I was pretty clear in my last post, that I believe it would be fantastic for the depth of the rotation if the three aforementioned starters began the season in Omaha. It is good to hear that at least one person in the Royals front office shares a similar sentiment.

This is a stark difference than in the past, when Dayton Moore and company were hesitant to block the paths of Major League ready youngsters. Last offseason, it appeared that Edwin Jackson was a perfect fit on a one year deal to bolster a rotation that was clearly going to be a team weakness. Instead, Dayton Moore stood by what he had, stating that they didn't want to take away any spots that could be used for evaluation. Hopefully heading into the 2013 season, we can put aside the notion that we are going to make it through the season with just five starters.

So if the Royals achieve their goal, how many starters will they need to acquire? Right now, they've got Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza, and Luke Hochevar. If they keep Hochevar, they'll need to acquire two starters. If they cut Hochevar, they'll need three. I've said before that I believe the latter is the optimum route if you are serious about turning around this rotation.

The problem is that the Royals may not feel comfortable cutting Hochevar knowing that they need to fill three spots in the rotation. As easy as we like to believe that may be, it is no small task for any front office. Not to mention, the money involved may be too much. If this is the case, the Royals may feel they have to keep Hochevar in order to have the necessary depth to start the three aforementioned pitchers in Omaha. Obviously, most of us want them to find a way to fill three spots in the rotation so that Hochevar may be cut, while building depth. Let's hope the Royals can find a way to make us happy.

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