The inevitable has occured. OF David Lough, 27, was optioned to Triple-A Omaha last night after the Royals 8-2 victory over Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lough was having an outstanding Spring, compiling a line of .455/.467/.636 in just 24 games for Kansas City. He had 20 hits in 44 plate appearances seven of those going for extra bases (6 doubles, 1 triple). He also collected 5 RBI and 3 SB, striking out twice and taking just one walk.
I was a little disappointed to hear the news, only because Lough has done everything asked of him and then some more down in the minors and has clearly earned a spot on the big league roster. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my Opening Day Roster post, he's blocked by the more desired Jarrod Dyson, who is out of options. Luckily for David, he has options remaining which indeed helps him tremendously. Dyson is lightning fast and will provide great presence in the need of a pinch runner or when Lorenzo Cain needs a day of rest out in CF.
Lough should very well be the first OF to be called up in the need of a replacement for injury, should one arise this season. If all goes according to plan, he should dominate in Omaha again until the opportunity comes a knockin'.
Along with Lough being sent down, OF Xavier Nady and LHP George Sherrill were both released from the Royals. Nady hit .346 in 13 games with the Royals, while Sherrill is still on recovery from TJ surgery.
Also announced today, which I'm very pleased to hear, Luis Mendoza was named the 5th starter to finalize the rotation. Mendoza, who came into the rotation and provided good innings for the Royals, has pitched in 3 games in ST, starting 2 of them. He has a 2-0 record with a 0.82 era in 11 IP, striking out 8 and walking just 2 batters, while giving up just 1 earned run.
Since Mendoza wins the race, Bruce Chen will make the move to the bullpen, along with former starter Luke Hochevar. It will be interesting to see how long Chen can last, considering his spring so far giving up 12 runs in 13.2 IP, his age, and that he doesn't throw hard.
I'm not going to lie, I like what I've seen from 'Relief Pitcher Luke Hochevar'. Especially after watching him last night coming into the 9th against the Dodgers. His fastball was electric and his curveball was untouchable. Even though the only batter worth mentioning in the 9th was Juan Uribe, you can't ignore the fact that Luke has done well coming into relief. Since being eliminated from the rotation race, he has 5 innings of relief, he has 7 strikeouts, 0 walks, and has given up 2 hits. Wade Davis made a nice transition to the bullpen last year for the Rays, hopefully this output from Luke can transition into this season. If it does, he can be flat out filthy for us. (You don't hear that sentence everyday.)