In an unsurprising announcement, manager Ned Yost confirmed that Luke Hochevar has been named the Opening Day starter for the Kansas City Royals. Following Hochevar will be Jeff Francis, Kyle Davies, Bruce Chen and Vin Mazzaro. Due to the way the schedule works out, the Royals won't need a fifth starter until April 16th, so Mazzaro will stay in extended Spring Training with the Omaha Stormchasers until he's needed. Sean O'Sullivan who was acquired along with Will Smith from the Angels for Alberto Callaspo will be slotted as the long relief man out of the bullpen.
I'm not convinced that having O'Sullivan in the pen rather than in the rotation for Omaha is the best choice, but at this point it's splitting hairs. He can give the royals a spot start if needed, so that makes him a decent option for the 'pen. He's only going to be 23 this season, so youth is on his side. The rotation is exactly what most people have predicted since the signing of Jeff Francis. Luke Hochevar will be the 20th pitcher to start Opening Day for the Royals. Kevin Appier holds the record with 7 Opening Day starts.
Look for a preview of the rotation and the bullpen later on this week.