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.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.