One of Kansas City’s top pitching prospects will make his major league debut Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium. Yordano Ventura will make his first career start against Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians at 7:10.
He taking the rotation spot of Danny Duffy, who is suffering from stiffness and inflammation in his surgically repaired, left, pitching elbow.
Ventura, 22, who really caught everyone’s attention in 2012, when he started the Future’s Game in Kansas City, has been toiling in AAA Omaha most of the season. In 15 games (14 starts), he has posted a 3.74 ERA and an unimpressive 1.468 WHIP, which is well above his career minor league WHIP of 1.254.
Ventura was gone 77 innings in AAA, allowing 80 hits and striking out 81. His biggest issue has been the base on balls. He has issued 33 walks in his 77 AAA innings.
Ventura, who undoubtedly has a live arm, is slight of frame at 5’11”, 180 pounds. He is a hard thrower but lacks control and stamina at times. He is only averaging a little over 5 innings a start in Omaha.
One very positive aspect of his game is that Ventura keeps the ball in the park. In his career, he has only surrendered .6 home runs per 9 innings. This season, in both AA and AAA, that mark is even slightly lower at .5 home runs per 9 innings.
It is most probable that Ventura will be on a very short leash tonight. The Indians can be a very patient team at times as they have coaxed 525 walks this season, good for the 4th most in the American League. They have also struck out 1208 times, 5th most in the AL. The Royals probably aren’t expecting more than 5 innings from Ventura on Tuesday, at the most.
This should be yet another exciting home debut of a Royals prospect.