The threat of rain postponed the Royals’ series finale against the Tigers on Thursday, and delayed the 2014 debut start of rookie Yordano Ventura until next Tuesday.
Ventura was slated to pitch on Thursday. But manager Ned Yost indicated Ventura would shift to the bullpen for the next two games. Jeremy Guthrie remains the starter for Friday’s home opener against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
“It’s a real easy thought process,” Yost said. “I’ve had this rotation set up for Jeremy Guthrie starting Opening Day (in Kansas City) since the first day of spring training. I’m not deviating from that. I wanted a veteran to start Opening Day.”
No makeup date for Thursday’s game has been set. The teams share a mutual off-day after a series here in June.
This early in the season, Yost did not intend to mess with his plans. Bruce Chen will start on Saturday and James Shields will make his second start of the year on Sunday.
“With an 11-man staff, I can add another quality arm to my ’pen for the next couple days, to help us through,” Yost said. “Plus, if I back everybody up, that puts Shields on (seven days rest). It just creates too much havoc.”
Ventura did not object to the decision.
“He said he feels very happy to break camp with the team,” said Chen, who translates for Ventura. “And he’s going to wait for his opportunity to start again. But in the meantime, he’s going to work very hard so he can help the team win.”