Eleven days after sparking a brawl in Baltimore, Yordano Ventura began serving an eight-game suspension on Saturday, a reduced penalty that offered a best-case scenario for his team.
Ventura was originally suspended nine games by Major League Baseball for his role in a brawl with the Baltimore Orioles on June 7 at Camden Yards. After negotiations between Ventura’s representatives, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball, Ventura accepted a reduced eight-game suspension in exchange for dropping his appeal.
He will be eligible to return on June 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium, barring any rainouts. The Royals, who have two days off this week, will utilize a four-man rotation while Ventura serves his suspension.
“We won’t miss a beat,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Ventura was suspended after hitting Orioles shortstop Manny Machado with a 99 mph fastball, igniting a fight in Baltimore. Machado was suspended four games for his role in the brawl. He will begin serving his suspension on Sunday. On Saturday, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter expressed some mild surprise about Ventura’s reduced suspension.
“(It was reduced) without a hearing?” Showalter said to reporters, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. “I’ll let (the media) critique that; I’m trying to have enough money to finish up the garden.”
Ventura started Friday night against the Detroit Tigers, allowing no runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 10-3 victory. He has yielded just one earned run in 13 1/3 innings since being ejected in Baltimore.