Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar, diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament earlier this week, will have reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament and thus will miss the entire season, according to manager Ned Yost.
The surgery, commonly known at Tommy John surgery, was determined to be a better option than possibly rest and rehab for two months.
"This thing’s gonna blow, I mean, it’s gonna go, sooner or later," Yost said Friday of Hochevar’s ligament.
Hochevar finished last season as the Royals’ top setup man to closer Greg Holland. That job likely now will go to Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera or Wade Davis.
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Hochevar’s elbow injury comes at a particularly devastating time for him — he is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.
Yost also indicated the Royals have released right-hander Brad Penny, who had signed a minor-league deal during the offseason after taking a year off from baseball.
In two games with the Royals this spring, Penny gave up 13 hits and seven runs in just four innings.