Interview with Luke Hochevar

Over the weekend, the Royals announced that Luke Hochevar will join the big league club as a September call-up. RC was in Des Moines for the Omaha Royals' final series of the year, and we caught up with Hochevar to discuss his season and the adjustments he's made. On the year, Hochevar split time between Wichita and Omaha, compiling a 4-9 record and a 4.86 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 152 IP.

Royals Corner: So Luke, how do you feel about your 2007 season?

Luke Hochevar: Pretty good. I'm learning a lot, making a lot of adjustments, getting accustomed to the five-day routine of pro ball. And so I feel that's going pretty well.

In his last four starts with Omaha, Hochevar compiled a 2.88 ERA over 25.0 innings while striking out 22 batters

RC: What types of things specifically have you been working on this season?

LH: Trying to repeat my delivery and make it consistent, which makes my pitches consistent. Being quick to the plate, holding runners a little better. And then my landing and my delivery, but that's basically been it.

RC: One thing that there's been pretty rampant speculation on is that the Royals at various times have restricted what pitches you could throw. Could you talk specifically about that? What types of pitches have you been throwing, and what were you throwing in college that you haven't been throwing as much this year?

LH: At the beginning of the season, I was only allowed to throw the four-seam fastball, curveball, and changeup. Now I'm able to throw both my sinker and slider as well -- I got that back at the All-Star break. It was an adjustment, but then again I see where that has helped me in making my curveball more consistent and my changeup better, because I was forced to throw them. But now I have all my pitches, and I can throw them all at any time.

For much of his time at Wichita, Hochevar was only allowed to throw three pitches in his arsenal

RC: You mentioned that you were working on controlling the running game better. What are some adjustments you made to do that??

LH: Just getting a little quicker to the plate, and speeding my delivery up out of the stretch. That was basically it -- I just had to get a little quicker. And when I started getting quicker, I had to start being able to command my pitches just as well. So that was an adjustment, but I was able to make it pretty quickly.

RC: What are your offseason plans??

LH: Get in the weight room and try to get stronger. I'm going to continue working on the things I've been working on during this season, baseball-wise, and then come into spring training in the best shape possible and be ready to go again.

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