Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Yordano Ventura has been generating plenty of excitement this spring.
The Royals entered camp with a large array of options for the No. 5 spot in their rotation, but the field soon shrunk. Luke Hochevar got hurt, Wade Davis was moved to the bullpen and Brad Penny was released.
It's a two-man competition now, with hard-throwing lefty Danny Duffy on one side and hard-throwing righty Yordano Ventura on the other. One, however, has looked significantly better than the other.
Ventura has been one of the most exciting players at any camp this spring, using his electric stuff to rack up nine strikeouts in 9.1 innings while also allowing just three runs, six hits and one walk. In his most recent outing against the Oakland A's, he was clocked at 102 miles per hour.
“That was pretty darn good, boy,” Royals manager Ned Yost told Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star.
Duffy, on the other hand, has struggled. In seven innings, he allowed six earned runs on 10 hits. Four of those have left the ballpark.
The Royals rotation needs more than just a fifth starter. It also needs a high-upside arm to replace Ervin Santana. Right now, Ventura matches that description much more than Duffy.