UPDATE: Well, this doesn’t sound promising. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Ventura exited due to “lateral elbow discomfort” and will be sent for an MRI.
9:36 p.m. ET: Troubling development for the Royals, as rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura was forced to exit tonight’s start against the Astros in the third inning with an apparent injury.
Ventura was getting hit around pretty good before exiting, as the Astros touched him up for five runs on seven hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes that his fastball was clocked at 91 mph against his final batter, which isn’t a promising sign. We’ll pass along more information when we get it, but hopefully another young pitcher isn’t dealing with a serious injury.
Ventura, 22, owns a 3.45 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings over 10 starts this season. Per FanGraphs, he entered tonight’s outing with an average fastball velocity of 96.7 mph, which is the highest in the majors.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.