After a stellar rookie season and postseason, the Kansas City Royals decided to give pitcher Yordano Ventura a five-year, $23 million contract extension, according to Jon Heymen of CBS Sports and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The 23 year-old was also given two option years.
By Peter Elliott – Lead MLB, NFL, and NCAA Writer – @PelliottSports
Ventura is also going to be the Royals Opening Day starter and has his shortstop Alcides Escobar committed to a four year-deal, and his catcher Salvador Perez was locked up to a five year-deal.
Ventura impressed many after posting a 3.20 ERA last year, a 14-10 record, and 159 strikeouts in 183 innings, and had one of the best games of his career, coming at the most important time, Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, going for seven shutout innings.
In his 18 innings pitched in Spring Training, he struck out 16 batters, while walking seven.
Though some have raised concerns of a possible injury to Ventura due to an increase of innings, there is reason to believe Ventura’s arm won’t malfunction this early in his career, as long as manager Ned Yost doesn’t try to put too many miles on it too quickly. Last spring, Yost said that Ventura could add 30 to 50 innings to the 150 innings he threw in 2013.
That workload may increase, due to the rising confidence in him from the Royals organization.
After the departure of former #1 starter James Shields and a few other starters, we can expect Ventura to be a big part of the Royals pitching staff.
Ventura will get the chance to prove he’s a franchise player starting Opening Day, on April 6th against the White Sox.
Peter Elliott writes about the MLB, NFL, and NCAA for Talking Baws.