Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(SURPRISE, Ariz.) — The Kansas City Royals named pitcher Yordano Ventura the Opening Day starter on Wednesday.
“If you’re going to ask a kid to go out in a do-or-die situation in Game 6 of the World Series and have him handle it, which he did, he is a perfect candidate for [Opening Day],” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We look at the development of Ventura and [Danny] Duffy, and both of these guys are ready to take the next step as starting pitchers.”
Ventura was 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in his rookie season and was one of the reasons for their postseason success.
Ventura pitched seven scoreless innings in Game 6 of last year’s World Series against the Giants to force a Game 7, that San Francisco would win.
“Everybody on our staff last year earned [this],”Yost said of his rotation. “I can make a case for Vargy or [Jeremy] Guthrie or now [Edinson] Volquez, too. But it comes down to this — this kid is ready for this. He has the composure and he really wants to do it. He wants to be the guy.”
“We were all very comfortable with it. He’s got total confidence of his ability,” he continued.
Duffy and Edinson Volquez will follow Ventura in the rotation. Kansas City opens up against the White Sox.
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