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Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Mark Trumbo likely headed back to disabled list

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that Orioles OF/DH Mark Trumbo will not travel with the team to Toronto and will instead return to Baltimore to have an MRI on his right knee. Trumbo will likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list, which will open up a spot for outfielder Adam Jones, who was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday, on the 25-man roster.

Trumbo, 32, has been bothered by his right knee for most of the season. The pain apparently intensified over the weekend. Trumbo had received a platelet-rich plasma injection last Monday.

Despite the ailing knee, Trumbo has posted decent numbers this season, batting .261/.313/.452 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 358 plate appearances. He is under contract with the Orioles for one more year, earning $13.5 million in 2019.