Yordano Ventura will spend the next two afternoons working out of the Royals bullpen. Manager Ned Yost does not feel compelled to utilize him during this period, though he would like to give him an inning or two of work.
Ventura would not pitch in a high-leverage situation. If he goes unused, he’ll throw his regularly scheduled bullpen session on Sunday morning to prepare for his first start of the season on Tuesday.
Ventura was supposed to start on Thursday in Detroit. Rain scuttled those plans. So Ventura was skipped, and Jeremy Guthrie will start the home opener against the White Sox on Friday.
The logic invoked by Yost involves a few twists and turns. He elaborated on his thought process on Friday morning.
“Here’s the deal,” Yost said inside his office at Kauffman Stadium. “When you get rained out, your fifth starter gets bumped. In reality, Ventura is our fifth starter. The only reason he’s not our fifth starter is because I didn’t want Bruce (Chen) back to back with (Jason) Vargas.
“And I wanted Guthrie to start Opening Day. Because he’s always had good success against Chicago … So, the only reason (Ventura) was bumped is because he was, in essence, the fifth starter. It’s very easy. It’s very simple. There’s no other things to be read into it. It’s the way it is.”
Yost admitted that Ventura’s inexperience played a factor in the decision.
“It’s a guy with three major-league starts under his belt,” he said. “I’m not going to start him Opening Day.”