SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Luke Hochevar got the nod as the Royals' Opening Day starter, but was scratched as the starter for Monday afternoon's Cactus League game against Cleveland, which was eventually canceled.
With rain predicted, the Royals first decided to use Hochevar in a morning Minor League game to beat the weather. But that plan was scrubbed when strong winds accompanied by sprinkles hit the area as the 10 a.m. MT game time approached.
There was still hope that Hochevar might start against the Indians as scheduled. But when rain increased and delayed the 1 p.m. MT start, the Royals sent the pitcher home for the day. Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery was penciled in as Hochevar's replacement.
Hochevar was expected to get his work in on Tuesday, probably in an afternoon Minor League game, while left-hander Jeff Francis starts as scheduled in a night game against the Los Angeles Angels at Surprise Stadium.
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The change will not affect the plan to start Hochevar on March 31 in the Opening Day game against the Angels at Kauffman Stadium.