He made five Cactus League starts, with a 3-1 record, 2.84 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 19 innings. In terms of technique, he was especially happy with his ability to focus on each delivery, pitch by pitch, and the improvement in his changeup.
"I think the biggest thing is having the opportunity to work on my changeup and throw my changeup a lot. In the past, it's never really been a pitch for me," Hochevar said.
"I've shown it four to six times a game, maybe. I worked really hard on it over the offseason because I want it to be a pitch that I use four times an inning -- so I can keep hitters' timing off my fastball. I want it to be a usable pitch, and I think this spring was big for me in working on that. I threw it a ton and still am throwing it a ton. And I'm seeing the results that I want, and it's coming along good. I'd still like to see it get a little bit better and have more action."
Oddly, even though Hochevar has pitched 100 Major League games, this will be his first appearance at Angel Stadium. Against the Angels at Kansas City, he's 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in four starts. The losses include last year's opener at Kauffman Stadium.