Yordano Ventura was officially named the Royals’ fifth starter on Monday and on Wednesday manager Ned Yost told Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that the young right-hander will not be on a strict innings limit in his first full major league season.
Yost said Ventura can go 180-200 innings. The 22-year-old tossed a total of 150 innings last summer between Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Triple-A Omaha, and major-league Kansas City, so the range is far from unreasonable and shouldn’t be harmful.
Ventura, a highly-rated flame-thrower from the Dominican Republic, boasts a 1.76 ERA, 0.717 WHIP, and 15/1 K/BB ratio throuhg 15 1/3 innings this spring in the Cactus League. He beat out Danny Duffy for the Royals’ final rotation spot.
Duffy, a former top prospect, is now competing for a long relief job.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.