Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura’s appeal of his nine-game suspension allowed him to make his next two starts, including Friday’s against the Tigers.
If the Royals drop the appeal, or his penalty is reduced, and Ventura begins his suspension Saturday, he could return for the June 29 game in St. Louis, based on the current rotation. That means he would miss the June 24 start against the Astros at Kauffman Stadium.
An appeal date hasn’t been set. Ventura was suspended for his pitch that hit the Orioles’ Manny Machado and started a benches clearing scuffle on June 7.
Whatever Ventura decides, and even if the penalty is reduced by a game or two, missing a start appears unavoidable.
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Ventura’s start after the fracas was one of his best of the season when he surrendered one run on five hits while striking out a season-high 10 as the Royals beat the White Sox 3-1 on Sunday in Chicago. Emotionally, he was a different pitcher.
“I don’t know if the performance quieted (his) critics,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was declared guilty the minute it happened. It’s the reputation he has. He has to be able to work through that.”
Machado was suspended for four games and has appealed. His appeal will be heard on Tuesday.