The Kansas City Royals went out tonight and got their proverbial ass handed to them by the Houston Astros, 9-2…or at least that is what I heard. Because focus went off of the game for most of us earlier in the game when rookie phenom Yordano Ventura was taken out after pitching 2.2 innings and looking less than stellar. Even more concerning was that Ventura left the mound with the Royals trainer, which is never a good sign. Things went from bad to worse when it was announced that Ventura had “lateral elbow discomfort”. All in all it was not a good night to be a Royals fan. There is a lot of worry right now in RoyalsNation, which is understandable. Here is the facts and what we know right now.
There is some optimism, for one being that it was his lateral part of the elbow, not the ulnar, which is synonymous with Tommy John Surgery(which obviously is why everyone is freaking out). But pain in the lateral part of the elbow guarantees nothing, as Jeff Passan passed along:
Normally lateral elbow pain is a sign of tennis elbow and more commonly seen in little leaguers. But as Passan also pointed out later on that if his bones have been banging together than “it speaks to a far greater mechanical problem.” Either way, there is a good chance Ventura will be on the shelf for awhile, even if it isn’t Tommy John.
Obviously this was discussed post-game with manager Ned Yost, who came away with this nugget of information: he doesn’t think it is a ligament injury and the training staff agrees. In theory, that is great news. But…last I checked, Ned Yost isn’t a doctor. So the best thing at this point is to just wait for the MRI, which will be done on Tuesday. It’s not as comforting as the smooth words of Yost, but I feel better hearing it from a physician at this point.
So at this point we just play the waiting game. It’s going to be a rough twenty four hours, but the best we can do is be hopeful and pray for the best. The Royals have been teetering on .500 all season and the offense doesn’t seem like it wants to wake up anytime soon. Losing Ventura for any significant amount of time could be a death knell for this team. It seems odd to say that about one player, but the Royals at this stage of the game don’t have the depth to replace “Ace”. This is pretty critical, folks. Sure, the Royals play another game tomorrow against the Astros, but all the focus will be on the results from Ventura’s MRI. A poor result and this is what most of us will be:
Time to be positive, Royals fans. I know that’s not our first instinct, but it’s all we got right now. Pray for Yordano’s elbow. We could use all the luck in the world right now.