So far in 2016, Yordano Ventura has been pretty Yordano Ventura-ish. He has struck out 17 in his 16 innings of work, but has also walked 12, and has failed to go at least six innings in two of his three starts.
He has also not thrown over 100 pitches in a start yet in 2016.
He has been effective, however, giving up just five runs in those 16 innings.
The only thing the Royals rotation has struggled with thus far is efficiency, having just two starts of at least seven innings of work to their name.
Despite the positive results, Ventura has been the microcosm of this issue, struggling with his command, and at times even his control, while walking a tight rope for much of his 5-6 innings of work.
I expect Ventura to find his rhythm. His ability to maneuver past the walks and lack of command show just how good his stuff is. When he finds his rhythm, he could really do some damage.
He will be opposed by Mike Wright, a 26-year old righty with a drastically different journey to the major leagues to Ventura’s.
Wright is a former third round draft pick, who countered his minor league seasons with strokes of brilliance and struggle.
He pitched above his age level nearly every step of the way, despite not being drafted out of high school.
However, his time in the Major Leagues has been tumultuous at best, and giving his progressed age due to his late start, is already running against his own clock, something that Ventura has never really faced.
They both have similar arsenal’s this season, with Ventura’s velocity being down, as both average around 94-96 on their fastballs. Write throws a 90 MPH sinker (!!) into the mix, and while in the past has featured a curveball, has seemingly ditched the pitch in favor of a slider-changeup offspeed combo.
The Royals face him once in 2015, tagging him for four runs in five innings.
Must-See Matchup – Mike Wright v. Lorenzo Cain
In that said start against the Royals, Cain drove in two of the four runs on two home runs. It was Cain’s second multi-home run game of his career.
Right now, Lorenzo is reeling, hitting just .222 and striking out in 28% of his at-bats.
He could use a boost, and although he only has three at-bats against Wright, maybe those two home runs were coincidental.
Hopefully, he just sees Wright really well, can capitalize on Sunday, and hopefully get hot. And Maybe Alex Gordon will follow.
He also throws a sinker, so watch out for a Moose.