Originally posted on Baseball Musings  |  Last updated 11/27/11
Luke Hochevar pitches as a starter for the Kansas City Royals. A first round pick in 2006, Luke made it to the majors at seasonal age 23 in 2007. Since then, he consistently posted ERAs much higher than his FIP or xFIP, measures of fielding independent pitching. For his career, his ERA stands at 5.29, his FIP at 4.41, and his xFIP at 4.27. Given his high ground ball rates, it seems the Royals defense let him down over the years. Defense is important for Hochevar due to his somewhat low strikeout rate. For his career it’s 5.95 K per nine innings, lower in 2011 at 5.82. With a good walk rate and a decent HR rate, shoring up the Royals infield defense would go a long way to making Hochevar look like a better pitcher. If Kansas City concentrated on defense, they might make a leap like the Rays did in 2008. They had a good pitching staff in 2007 that was let down by their defense. Once that was correct, the Rays pitchers looked like they went through a huge improvement. We’ll ...
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