John Lamb going down for 1+ years with Tommy John surgery sets in motion many things that may not be immediately obvious.
We know that, as (I believe) Will McDonald articulated in a recent RoyalsReview story, the Kansas City Royals will have to "build a rotation from scratch."
* We can count on Hochevar, I think, to be *at least* a #5 starter.
* We can count on Duffy, I think, to be *at least* a #4 starter.
* We can count on....no one else to be a #3, #2 or #1 starter.
For all we know, Mike Montgomery will not pitch well enough at the MLB level to be a starter. His numbers this year at the AAA level could effectively speak to this argument.
There is henceforth an heretofore alien atmosphere of urgency w/ regard to the 2012 starting rotation.
I'm going to go out on a (pretty sturdy, by my estimation) limb and say that every pitcher currently fulfilling a starting role on ANY Royals-affiliated minor league team has just today lucked into a more immediate opportunity--a hotter stove.
I don't follow the MiLB affiliates beyond Dubya's (perfect) reports and the occasional FanPost. I'm hoping this topic is of enough import to cultivate some informed discussion between those smarter than me.