The Colorado Rockies have entered the off-season in dire need of one thing: pitching. Whether it is by trade or free agent signing, it is without question the Rockies need to bring in some pitching talent in this winter.
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One free agent pitcher that might spark some interest is Luke Hochevar, a right-handed relief pitcher who has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals.
Hochevar was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 2006 MLB Draft and spent his first five full years in the majors as a starter. In 2013 Hochevar was moved to the bullpen and his pitching improved phenomenally.
In his five years spent as a starter, Hochavar had an ERA that hovered around 5.00 and a WHIP around 1.45.
In 2013, Ned Yost moved the seasoned pitcher to the bullpen where he used Hochevar as the setup man for Greg Holland. He made 53 appearances, had a record of 5-2, an ERA of 1.92 and a WHIP of .82. You could call him the Wade Davis of 2013.
There are a couple of different reasons Hochevar would make a good free agent signing for the Rockies. First off, he is a buy-low candidate. He spent the entire 2014 season in the dugout after he had Tommy John surgery during spring training and the Rockies could sign him for cheap. It is impossible to know how someone will come back from this type of surgery, but on a cheap one-year deal Hochevar is well worth the risk.
Second, Hochevar is originally from Denver. Now, he may like Denver or he could absolutely hate it and never want to see it again, but it could very well be a factor when he starts to decide where he wants to continue his career.
All Rockies fans know Colorado had one of the worst bullpens in all of baseball last season. If the Rockies were somehow to land Luke Hochevar, the atrocious bullpen we saw last year could be drastically improved with one signing.
If signed, Hochevar would improve the Rockies bullpen significantly. He’s a great buy-low option and a pitcher the Rockies need to go after.