2012 Rotation Spots Up For Grabs In KC

No need to wait until spring training for the competition to begin for the 2012 Royals rotation.

It has started in September.

The rotation has been an Achilles' heel this season. Right-handers Luke Hochevar and Felipe Paulino and left-hander Danny Duffy are the frontrunners for rotation slots next year. The Royals also could re-sign veteran left-hander Bruce Chen, who again will be eligible for free agency.

Rookies left-hander Everett Teaford and right-hander Nate Adcock, a Rule 5 pick from the Pirates, also are up for consideration.

Teaford, who had been used strictly as a reliever in the majors this season but had made 99 starts in the minors, started Sunday at Seattle and threw five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and walking one while striking out a career-high five. Adcock has made three starts this season.

The Royals want to take another peek at three Omaha right-handers: Luis Mendoza, Sean O'Sullivan and Vin Mazzaro. Mendoza led the Pacific Coast League in earned run average and is the only one of this trio who has not pitched in the majors this year, although he was in the Kansas City bullpen to start the 2010 season.

The Storm Chasers, however, are in the Pacific Coast League playoffs, so the Royals have delayed promoting them.

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