Yordano Ventura expected to pitch 180-200 innings this year

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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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.