Opinion

Yordano Ventura could return to Royals pitching rotation this week

Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (30) smiles in the dugout during Saturday's baseball game against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (30) smiles in the dugout during Saturday's baseball game against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Scratch that rehab start for Yordano Ventura.

Ventura, slated for an appearance with Class AAA Omaha on Monday, instead will throw a side session here on Monday.

It’s possible Ventura, the Royals Opening Day starter, could return to the rotation later this week, perhaps Thursday when Joe Blanton is scheduled to make his next start.

“We’re still contemplating,” Blanton’s next start, Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Ventura is ready to throw 100 pitches, Yost said. “It’s not like we’re bringing him back short if we decide to go that route,” he said.

Ventura has been dealing with ulnar nerve irritation in his throwing elbow, which caused him to lose feeling in three of his fingers.

Ventura went on the disabled list on June 19. Blanton has had mixed results in his four starts, going 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA. He won his first two, including a duel with the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, but has struggled in his last two outings. Saturday, he surrendered three first-inning runs in a 5-3 loss to the Twins.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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