Gil Meche finally put it all together in his outing against the Dodgers on Friday. Sporting a 10+ERA going into the game, Meche tossed seven innings, struck out six, walked one and allowed only four hits. The Royals won the game 4-1.
It's old news now that Meche will be the Opening Day starter in Chicago on April 6. He will certainly be followed in the rotation by Zack Greinke, and most likely Kyle Davies will be the No. 3. But from there it gets rather cloudy. Brian Bannister, Sidney Ponson, Luke Hochevar and Horacio Ramirez are all vying for the final two slots in the rotation, and it appears to be a close race.
It appears the Royals would prefer to have Ponson in the rotation, and at this point I think it's likely he earns a spot as the No. 4 guy. Bannister appears to have pitched himself right out of the rotation and into the minor leagues with a less than desirable spring. He has options remaining, so he's likely out.
Luke Hochevar also has options remaining, but he's pitched pretty well this year and will likely make the club as well. Ramirez, on the other hand, hasn't pitched entirely well as of late - though he and the team quickly pointed out the injured fingernail on his pitching hand as the excuse. He allowed three booming homers in two innings pitched during his last outing. In his defense, those came in miserable pitching conditions with the wind blowing some 30 MPH. I still think they would have gone out, regardless.
Anyways, you guys may not agree with me, but if I were Trey Hillman and had to decide today (wishful thinking) here's my rotation.
No. 1 -- Gil Meche
No. 2 -- Zack Greinke
No. 3 -- Kyle Davies
No. 4 -- Sidney Ponson
No. 5 -- Luke Hochevar
Just my opinion, but doesn't that look like a major league rotation for a change? Oh, and Ramirez does make the club as a long reliever. Again, just my opinion.