Royals rookie pitcher Yordano Ventura will miss his next scheduled start, Wednesday against the Twins, because of back stiffness, manager Ned Yost said.
“After his last start he developed a little bit of mid-back tightness,” Yost said. “It’s gotten better, but we’re not going to push it. We’re going to skip a start.”
Liam Hendriks, a right-handed pitcher acquired last month along with catcher Erik Kratz from the Blue Jays in a trade for infielder Danny Valencia, will make his first Royals start.
Ventura improved to 10-9 after collecting the victory over the Rangers on Friday. The Royals won 6-3.
“It hadn’t been nagging him,” Yost said. “It’s nothing real concerning. It just some stiffness. It’s a good time to let him skip a start and have him come back for September.”
Ventura underwent an MRI that revealed some inflammation.
Yost said he doesn’t expect Ventura to miss more than one start. Ventura has won five of his last six decisions and has a 3.40 ERA, fourth among American League rookie pitchers. His 145 2/3 innings pitched leads AL rookies.
The Royals hadn’t announced a corresponding roster move, and the team is also looking to activate left-handed reliever Scott Downs from the disabled list later this week.
Hendriks is 12-2 in Class AAA this season, including 4-1 for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He’s a strike thrower with 126 strikeouts and 13 walks in minor-league games this season.
He’s 1-0 this season pitching for the Blue Jays and 3-13 in his major-league career with all previous decisions coming as a member of the Twins.
Hendriks, from Perth, Australia, will become the third Australian-born player to suit up for the Royals. Justin Huber played in 38 games in the mid-2000s, and pitcher Graeme Lloyd finished his major-league career with the Royals in 2003.
Yost also said second baseman Omar Infante likely will miss at least two games because of right shoulder inflammation. Christian Colon will get the start.
“He’s been battling that for a while,” Yost said.
The addition of Hendriks expands the Royals international flavor. Australia becomes the seventh nation represented in the clubhouse.
Flags fly from the United States, Australia, Japan (Nori Aoki), Panama (Bruce Chen), Venezuela (Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar and Omar Infante), the Dominican Republic (Yordano Ventura, Kelvin Herrera) and Cuba (Francisley Bueno).