Update: The Royals are going to give Ventura his first major league start on Tuesday, according to the Royals official Twitter account.
This is exciting because it means we get to see more of Ventura and know exactly when and where to tune in. He has worked primarily as a starter in the minors, so the move isn't a stretch, it was just not known earlier whether the Royals would want to risk giving a start in a pennant race to an unproven rookie. Still, Ventura's aresnal of pitches and the league's unfamiliarity with him could lead to some serious strike out numbers over a few starts as the Royals attempt to nab a wild card spot.
Original Article: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star is reporting that the Royals may be promoting pitching prospect Yordano Ventura to the majors in time for tonight's game. Ventura is considered the top (or one of the top two, along with Kyle Zimmer) pitching prospects in the Royals farm system.
Ventura, best known for his upper-90's fastball and sub-six-foot frame, has put up incredible numbers throughout his minor league career. Despite being consistently young for his level, Ventura has never posted an FIP above 3.68 at any level. He has consistently struck out over a batter per inning, coming in at 9.9 K/9 in his career, and with the exception of a few brief stops, his control has been good enough to be effective.
Ventura sits in the mid-90's with his fastball but can touch triple-digits, something which will be more within reach if the Royals use him in a relief role for now as expected. His power-curveball is a potential plus pitch and will give him a potent two-pitch mix coming out of the bullpen. He'll need his changeup to continue to develop if he's going to be a starter, the role the Royals have used him in throughout his career.
Many doubted Ventura's ability to remain a starter, but because of his size, not his ability. He has the arsenal to start, but there are still those who don't believe his small stature - 5'11" and anywhere from 150-180 lbs. depending on who you believe - won't hold up over 200 innings.
For now, it's not known how much the Royals intend to use Ventura, especially since the move hasn't even been officially announced. Dutton speculates that it's not much. I'd expect a few innings in any blowout games the Royals may find themselves in, although those haven't been regular occurrences as the Royals make a late run at a wild card spot.
Ventura can help out of the Royals pen right now if manager Ned Yost trusts him enough to give him the ball. He's a part of their future starting rotation, but for now, he has the potential to miss a ton of bats out of the bullpen.