The Omaha Royals are going to have a pretty impressive starting rotation when they start their Triple A season. One day after Kansas City announced Luke Hochevar, the number one pick in the 2006 draft, would be sent down to Omaha, the Royals announced Brian Bannister would follow.
It’s been an early up and down career for Bannister, mostly down lately. After coming over in a trade from the Mets, Bannister went 12-9 in 2007 and finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Last year, Bannister struggled with the long ball and stumbled with a 9-16 record and an ERA of 5.76.
Bannister continued to struggle this spring. Manager Trey Hillman said both Bannister and Hochevar need time in the minor to gain a little more fine tuning. Late this spring, the Royals brought in veteran Sidney Ponson and while his ERA is over nine, he was given the fourth spot in the rotation.
With only three starts needed in April for a 5th starter, Hillman elected to keep left hander Horacio Ramirez on the major league roster to pitch out of the bullpen and go as the 5th starter.