KC Royals: Yordano Ventura Should Start Game One


When the KC Royals acquired Johnny Cueto at the trade deadline, it was expected that he would front the Royals postseason rotation. After all, Cueto was that ace that the Royals had been lacking, a major piece that many thought was needed for them to truly contend.

Well, you know what they say of the best laid plans. Instead of being that ace the Royals expected, Cueto has struggled, posting a 3-6 record with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.393 WHiP. Those struggles caused him to be moved back in the rotation, and now, according to Andy McCullough, Cueto is not even expected to start Game One of the American League Division Series.

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Instead, the KC Royals are slated to start Yordano Ventura, should the rotation remain the same as it is currently constituted, in Game One. Yes, Ventura, who was expected to be the Royals ace at the start of the season, and was slated to be banished to Omaha until Jason Vargas was injured, would be the Royals Game One starter.

This just shows the turnaround that Ventura has had since Cueto arrived in Kansas City. Over his last ten starts, Ventura has posted a 6-1 record with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.262 WHiP, issuing 25 walks against 70 strikeouts in 61 innings of work. This is the pitcher that the Royals expected at the start of the season.

Add in Ventura’s performance during the postseason last year, and it is understandable as to why the Royals would be interested in slotting him at the top of the rotation come the playoffs. Who can forget his performance in Game Six of the World Series, when Ventura fired seven shutout innings with the Royals season on the line? That is the performance that one needs from their postseason ace.

Yes, Johnny Cueto was acquired for this very moment, and at the time, this was the move that the Royals needed to make. The trade has certainly has helped the Royals, only not in the way that they imagined at the time. The Royals did get their ace, but instead of Cueto, it was Yordano Ventura becoming the pitcher that he was expected to be. Having Cueto there to guide him turned out to be the missing piece.

Now, it will be Ventura starting Game One of the ALDS for the KC Royals, unless something changes with the rotation. Considering how he has performed down the stretch, and his performance in the postseason (let us forget the Wild Card Game) last year, Ventura deserves this spot in the rotation.

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