After an incredible start to his career, Yordano Ventura has stumbled in the month of May. It hasn’t been completely terrible, but it looks a lot worse after an April in which he gave up more than one run only once. At the beginning of the month, there was a legitimate argument for Ventura as the top rookie in baseball.
Now it seems Masahiro Tanaka is the top-performing rookie with an ailing Jose Abreu at a close second. The season is still young and Ventura definitely has the talent to get back in the AL Rookie of the Year race. He definitely needs to avoid starts like the one he had Monday night vs. the Houston Astros.
Against the lowest scoring team in the American League, Ventura gave up five runs on seven hits, while walking three in just 2.2 innings pitched. The outing lifted his ERA from 2.80 to 3.45. Every pitcher has off games, but its tough to get worse than a start like Monday night’s against an offense like Houston’s.
Ventura’s Rookie of the Year hopes are far from the worse result of his recent cold streak. The Kansas City Royals are in the thick of the AL Wild Car race, which is packed with teams hovering around .500. The Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees are starting to separate themselves from the pack.
If the Royals want to keep up, they’re going to need more from their exciting rookie. Kansas City has lost in each of his last four starts leading into Monday’s contest. Part of that is due to a lack of run support, but Ventura is definitely responsible for a share of the blame as well.