KC Royals: Could Yordano Ventura Need Tommy John Surgery


Yordano Ventura has not been the pitcher he was a year ago.

After a sizzling rookie campaign with the Kansas City Royals that saw him go 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA, he has labored to a 3-6 record and a 4.68 ERA.

And now there is this news from The KC Star’s Andy McCullough.

Don’t count on Ventura making his next start. Ned Yost wouldn’t tell reporters right now that Ventura will miss his next start if the Baseball Gods guaranteed him a World Series trophy.

That’s not Ned’s style. His does things on his terms.

But let’s look at the facts.

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Ventura has struggled all year, Tommy John injuries are on the rise and as WebMD points out “the most common complication is damage to the ulnar nerve.

No one wants to think this, but it doesn’t look good. When players have the injury it doesn’t usually stem from one pitch. It’s an overuse injury that starts to slowly affect their productiveness.

Eventually it starts to take a toll on the player’s elbow and once the diagnosis is made, it’s obviously not good. Tommy John surgery will cause any pitcher to miss the entire season. After surgery, patients aren’t even allowed to do anything strenuous with the arm for four months.

This obviously is not good news for the Royals, especially on the heels of Jason Vargas heading back to the disabled list with a “sore forearm,” according to McCoullough.

And yes, you read that right. Joe Blanton will be inserted in to the rotation. He of the sub-.500 career record and 4.49 ERA. Finnegan most likely will be in the bullpen, but the rotation could be as bad now as the pen is good.

It now features Blanton, Chris Young, Edinson Volquez, Jeremy Guthrie and according to Yost, still Ventura. But even if he is ok, he has been suspect at best.

General Manager Dayton Moore is going to have to make some kind of move. Good thing for Royals fans he signed Volquez in the offseason, or this might rank as one of the wort staffs in the American League.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong and Ventura doesn’t need the surgery and can fight his way back to the pitcher he was a season ago.

If not, and Vargas and Danny Duffy can’t stay healthy or consistent, it’s time to add a guy like Mike Leake, Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto, because Wade Davis isn’t transitioing back to a starter and Bret Saberhagen isn’t coming out of retirement.

Of course at this point, it might not hurt to try either option.

Next: KC Royals Draft Review: Pitching, Pitching And More Pitching

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