Opinion

Yordano Ventura bumped to Friday, Joe Blanton to start for Royals on Wednesday

Royals pitcher Joe Blanton throws against the Rangers on June 5 at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals pitcher Joe Blanton throws against the Rangers on June 5 at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

The Royals decided to give Yordano Ventura two more days to recover from numbness in his right hand, as he was bumped from his scheduled outing on Wednesday and tabbed to pitch on Friday.

Joe Blanton will pitch in Ventura’s place against the Brewers. Manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Dave Eiland felt Ventura would benefit from the added rest.

"If you’ve got the opportunity to back him up two days, you just go ahead and do that," Yost said before his team faced the Brewers at Miller Park. "You don’t try to push it."

Ventura lost sensation in three fingers on Friday night against St. Louis. He left after only three innings. An MRI showed irritation of his ulnar nerve caused by a buildup of fluid in his elbow. Yost deemed it a "freak" injury.

Ventura threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Monday. Eiland reported positive signals in Ventura’s curveball and changeup, the two pitches perhaps most affected by a lack of feeling in the hand.

"It’s just really what we’re doing is playing it safe, and not pushing it," Yost said.

When the team started the season, they named Ventura and Danny Duffy as their top two starters. Both have struggled thus far. Duffy is on a rehabilitation assignment to rebuild strength in his once-inflamed left shoulder. He will throw 65 pitches on Wednesday. Duffy was scheduled to reach that number on Sunday, but his game with Class AAA Omaha was rained out in New Orleans.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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