For the first time in a long time, the Kansas City Royals are legitimately making a run at the playoffs, and they are calling on one of their top prospects to help get them there.
Earlier in the day on Monday, CBS Sports writer Danny Knobler broke this news on Twitter:
Royals announce Yordano Ventura will start tomorrow vs. Indians in place of Danny Duffy.
— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) September 16, 2013
The promotion of Ventura from the minors to start on Tuesday is big news, and that is mostly because of his big-time status as a prospect. Ventura has a 3.14 ERA in 134.2 innings across two levels this year in the minors, and he has shown the potential to be a high-strikeout pitcher at 22 years old.
The absence of Duffy, who may be shutdown for the season with elbow trouble, is significant for the Royals as they trail by just 2.5 games in the Wild Card race. Asking Ventura to contribute in a meaningful way is fairly aggressive at this stage, but the Royals are simply out of other conceivable options, and they can’t afford to “punt” any games with zero margin for error.
It will be very interesting to see what Kansas City will unearth when Ventura makes his MLB debut on Tuesday, but the game will actually matter in the standings instead of just for “future plans”.