To put things bluntly, we’ve seen this crap from Yordano Ventura before.
The Kansas City Royals pitcher has been a pain (often times in the ribs) for hitters across Major League Baseball pretty much since he broke into the league in 2013.
Ventura drilled Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado with a 99 mph fastball Tuesday night, and Machado wasn’t going to let it slide. Machado charged the mound, starting a legitimate baseball brawl between the Royals and Orioles, with Machado wrestling Ventura to the ground.
Despite the fact that Ventura has appeared in fewer than 100 major league games, this isn’t the first time he’s been in the middle of controversy — far from it, actually.
In fact, Ventura ticked off three different teams in the course of about two weeks just last season.
On April 12, 2015, Ventura threw a fastball up and in to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout. After Trout almost took Ventura’s head off with a line drive, the pitcher stared down and said some things to Trout. When Trout eventually came around to score, more words were said, leading to a bench-clearing incident.
A week later, Ventura escalated simmering tension between the Royals and Oakland Athletics by drilling then-Oakland infielder Brett Lawrie with another 99 mph heater.
Yet again, a week later, Ventura incited a bench-clearing tiff between the Royals and Chicago White Sox. This time, apparently taking exception to a ground ball back to him from White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton. Once again, more words from Ventura led to the benches clearing. Rinse and repeat.
Ventura’s attitude got the best of him in the playoffs, too. Ventura didn’t take too kindly to what he perceived as a late timeout called by Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. After striking him out to end the inning, Ventura stared down Tulowitzki, even as Royals catcher Salvador Perez tried to wave him off the mound.
That eventually led to some tense moments between Ventura and Toronto first base coach Tim Leiper.
Talk about a pretty eventful 14 months or so. The Royals likely are willing to put up with Ventura’s antics if he’s pitching well, which is what he did in 2014 and 2015, posting a 3.61 ERA and 3.59 FIP over those two seasons. It’s been a different story in 2016, though, with Ventura posting a 4-4 record and a 5.32 ERA with a league-worst 35 walks through 12 starts.
So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the Royals reportedly are open to trading the right-hander. Yahoo! Sports baseball reporter Jeff Passan reported Tuesday night that the Royals are reportedly taking stalk of potential interest in Ventura across the league.
We’re guessing Tuesday night’s antics didn’t do much to help the Royals’ case.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images
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