Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Fri, 3/23
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 23 2012 6:14PM
There are several players who need to put together good seasons for the Royals to achieve their dreams of contending in the AL Central in 2012, but no one may be a bigger key than Luke Hochevar. In a starting rotation that has lots of question marks, Hochevar needs to be the anchor and he needs to be solid more often than not. Hochevar’s strong second half in 2011 was encouraging, but he has to carry that success over in 2012 for the entire year. And, so far this spring, Hochevar has looked like he’s turned the corner. After six shutout innings today vs. the Dodgers in Surprise, Hochevar has allowed just two runs and one walk in 14 spring innings. His command has gotten better each time out and he appears to have confidence in all his pitches. Hochevar has talked repeatedly this spring about the importance of focusing on one pitch at a time, something he’s struggled with in the past. Of course, we need to see Hochevar carry these spring results into the season and we need to see him bounce back when he struggles, but it looks like Hochevar is poised to have an excellent year.
Before today’s game, Royals manager Ned Yost mentioned Eric Hosmer would see some time in the outfield this spring training. Hosmer, who’s been taking fly balls for several days and who’s worked out in the outfield in the minors, played the final three innings of today’s game in rightfield, catching one fly ball. Yost mentioned that playing Hosmer in the outfield could help the Royals in interleague play in National League parks, when there’s no designated hitter; in such instances, Hosmer could play the outfield and Billy Butler would be able to start at first, thus keeping two of the Royals best bats in the lineup. With year-round interleague play coming in 2013, Hosmer’s ability to play the outfield could wind up being even more valuable for the Royals. Spring training is the time to experiment with such scenarios and I don’t have an issue with Yost putting Hosmer in the outfield to at least see if he’s comfortable out there. I think Hosmer’s a good enough athlete to handle one of the corner outfield spots