. Ned Yost did his best to keep things cryptic on Saturday morning. The topic was Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy, the youthful duo dueling for the final spot in the Royals’ rotation.
Ventura appears the favorite. His ERA in three appearances in 2.89. Duffy’s ERA is 11.00. This past week provided an even starker dichotomy: Ventura struck out six in 4 1/3 innings of one-run baseball against Oakland on Wednesday; Duffy gave up five runs in two frames against the A’s on Friday.
It is not difficult so see where this is going. But Yost sought to keep things vague.
Does Duffy have enough time to leap-frog Ventura? "Time will tell,” he said.
When does Yost want to make the final decision? "The sooner the better."
Is that better for the team, or for the individuals? "Both, probably."
Could the decision happen before the next full turn through the rotation? "Maybe. Yeah, maybe. We’ll see."
A reporter ventured a follow-up. At last, Yost opened up.
"Here’s the thing," Yost said. "Ventura had a great outing. Duffy had a bad outing. We’re still going to buy time. We’ve got different thoughts, different things that we’re looking at. When we make the decision, we make the decision. I’m not going to rush the decision just so that you guys have something to write about, or somebody has something to talk about.
"Fourteen days left. That’s just the way it works. I’ve got a whole locker room of guys in there that I have to take care of. I’m not making a quick decision of one bad outing or one good outing.
"During the season, you have a bad outing, you have a bad outing. ‘Let’s got get them tomorrow.’ During spring training, you have a bad outing, well, the world’s caving in. That’s not the case. So you continue to move forward. And when you’ve got to make your decisions, you make your decisions. And you don’t make them after one bad outing."
He added, "I don’t know what I’m going to do on this. I mean, I’ve got a pretty good idea what I’m going to do. But I don’t really know yet definitively what I’m going to do."