KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Tommy Hottovy is leaving the Kansas City Royals after just one season with his hometown team.
Hottovy, a sidearming left-handed reliever, was dealt to the Texas Rangers on Thursday in exchange for cash and a player to be named. This move came six days after Hottovy was designated for assignment by the Royals.
He spent most of this season with Triple-A Omaha but had four different stints with Kansas City, appearing in nine games with no record and a 2.89 ERA. He worked a total of 9 1/3 innings and gave up 11 hits and three runs.
Hottovy made 41 relief appearances for Omaha with a 2-2 record, seven saves and a 2.52 ERA. He racked up 61 strikeouts against just 16 walks in 50 innings. The lefty was especially tough on left-handed batters, holding them to a .147 average.
The 31-year-old Hottovy was born in Kansas City. He played at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo., and at Wichita State University in neighboring Kansas.
According to the Royals, Hottovy was the just the fifth player born in Kansas City, Mo., to play for his hometown team. The others were pitchers David Cone, Steve Mingori and Steve Shifflett and infielder-outfielder Kit Pellow.
"It's hard to beat that -- going to games as a kid and then getting to be part of the team and the organization. It's just one of those things that couldn't have worked out any better and I really had a blast in the time that I was here," Hottovy said. "But teams make moves and the Royals needed a roster spot and it's kind of the way things worked. Fortunately, the Rangers were interested and I'm looking forward to heading down there."
His pro career began in 2004 after he was taken in the fourth round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Boston Red Sox. After eight Minor League seasons and Tommy John surgery in 2008, Hottovy finally reached the Majors with the Red Sox in 2011. He made eight relief appearances and had no record and a 6.75 ERA.
As he came back from elbow surgery, Hottovy changed his delivery to a sidearm style, which made him effective against left-handed hitters.
"I'm a different pitcher than I was three or four years ago. I was battling arm stuff and trying to come back over the top and just wasn't progressing," he said. "Last year was my first full year of dropping down and throwing with the new angle and I feel like I'm just getting better and getting stronger and continuing to get more consistent with what I'm trying to do. I think that showed a little bit this year, not only with the results that I had but the consistency that I was able to maintain the whole year."
About a year ago, he signed with the Royals as a Minor League free agent.
"It was an honor to be part of the organization and I've got a soft place in my heart, obviously, for the city of Kansas City and the people around here," Hottovy said. "And if I never get to come back and play here in KC, it's definitely something that I'll remember for a long time."