Rookie starter Yordano Ventura exited the Royals 8-2 loss to the Astros on Monday night in the third inning due to "lateral elbow discomfort," according to the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough. The 22-year-old right hander will undergo an MRI on Tuesday. More definitive information will be available with the results, but the combination of pitchers and elbow discomfort tends to signal Tommy John surgery.
There was some discrepancy as to how much Ventura's velocity dropped from his season average during the game.
Here is the in game velocities from Gameday on Yordano Ventura: pic.twitter.com/uvP4cDhQw1— Jeff Zimmerman (@jeffwzimmerman) May 27, 2014
Regardless of the speed of his pitches on Monday, Ventura is in limbo until he receives his MRI results. If he does indeed need Tommy John surgery, he will miss the rest of the 2014 season at the very least. The Royals went on to lose the game after his exit, dropping 24-26 on the year. If Ventura misses considerable time on the disabled list, the Royals season could suffer significantly.
Manager Ned Yost told reporters that the team's medical staff assured him that Ventura had not injured his elbow ligament, but early optimism is the typical response from organizations dealing with a potentially serious injury.
Ventura is 2-5 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP after his abbreviated outing. He's struck out 59 batters in 57⅓ innings and has posted a 3.36 FIP and a 3.02 xFIP.
Dayton Moore: Ventura likely to miss just one start
Royals general manager Dayton Moore told MLB Network Radio that he expects Ventura to miss just one start after exiting his last start in the third inning and frightening the Royals fan base into a woeful frenzy. He said "the ligament looks great" in reference to Ventura ulnar collateral ligament, the harbinger of Tommy John surgery.
After such a scare, some are skeptical that disaster has been avoided.