Royals expect Yordano Ventura to hydrate more for next start to avoid cramp

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura cramped up during his opening day start.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura cramped up during his opening day start. The Kansas City Star

Royals starter Yordano Ventura will return to action on Sunday afternoon at Angels Stadium. Before he takes the mound, manager Ned Yost and the Royals training staff has a simple instruction for him: Hydrate.

Ventura left in the seventh inning of his start on opening day because of a cramp in his right thumb. He looked in agony when the cramp struck. He threw his glove to the ground and howled. The pain subsided in time, but the Royals do not want a recurrence.

“He’ll just hydrate a lot more next time out,” Yost said before Wednesdays game against the White Sox. “It’s as simple as that, I believe.”

Ventura spun six innings of one-run baseball before the cramp occurred. The training staff assured Yost the incident was not a symptom of a more serious condition.

Yost could relate to Ventura’s pain. Yost explained how he often gets similar cramps in his hand while riding his tractor on his farm in Georgia.

Yost also wondered if the unconventional schedule of the season opener, which featured a series of ceremonies and commemoration of the American League pennant, affected Ventura.

“You’re focused and you forget to hydrate,” Yost said. “And, again, part of opening day, it just takes you out of your routine. And once your routine gets going, you’re hydrating, you’re doing all your stuff that you normally do. But there’s so much stuff that goes into it, there’s so much excitement. He probably just didn’t hydrate enough.”

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.