KANSAS CITY, Mo. Fans of Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza finally breathed a sigh of relief after manager Ned Yost announced this week that Mendoza had won the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation.
As one fan Tweeted, "Thank the baseball gods!"
The spring battle for the fifth spot in the rotation has drawn that type of passion from the fan base mainly because many Royals fans were terrified first that the Royals simply would give the spot to underachieving starter Luke Hochevar.
The Hochevar issue was settled earlier in spring when the Royals opted to send the former No. 1 pick to the bullpen.
But then Mendoza fans began to worry that Yost would hand the No. 5 spot to the likeable-but-erratic Bruce Chen, who won 11 games last year but posted an unsightly 5.07 ERA.
That worry was justified every time Yost hinted this spring that Mendoza would be an "ideal long reliever" if need be.
This seeming lack of support seemed very strange to fans of Mendoza, whom pitching coach Da...