Royals SP Yordano Ventura winds up against the Mariners in the 5th inning of Friday’s game. (AP photo by Lenny Ignelzi)
Kansas City Royals SP Yordano Ventura looked ready for his Opening Day assignment as he pitched seven no-hit innings against the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
Ventura walked two and struck out four in the Cactus League game. He is expected to get one more spring training start before pitching for the Royals against the Chicago White Sox on Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium.
Ventura pitched for the Kane County Cougars in 2011, going 4-6 with a 4.27 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 84.1 IP.
Yordano Ventura throws a pitch for the Kane County Cougars in August 2011. (Photo by Donnell Collins/Sun-Times Media)
Walker continues dominant spring
Taijuan Walker hasn’t been named to the Seattle Mariners starting rotation, but he appears to be the leading candidate for the No. 5 slot with the dominant spring he’s having.
After pitching six scoreless innings Wednesday, Walker has a 0.00 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 18 IP. He has given up only six hits.
Walker pitched for the Clinton LumberKings in 2011, going 6-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 96.2 IP.
Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker on the mound for the LumberKings in 2011. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)
Rollins suspended 80 games
Mariners prospect David Rollins was suspended 80 games Friday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
He pitched in Double-A for the Houston Astros last year, but was picked up by the Mariners in the Rule 5 Draft in December. He was a Toronto Blue Jays farmhand when he pitched for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2012, going 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 77.2 IP before being traded to Houston.
Buck announces retirement
Catcher John Buck, who played for seven teams over 11 major-league seasons, announced his retirement Thursday. He hit .320 in 25 at-bats with the Atlanta Braves this spring, but decided to retire to spend more time with his family.
He batted .282 with 10 HR and 71 RBI in 109 games with the 2000 Michigan Battle Cats. He also went 1-for-10 in four games with the 1999 team.
New Lugnuts video board
Here is a look at the new video board at Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts.
Photo tweeted by the Lansing Lugnuts
The new video board is part of a $25 million renovation project being done at the ballpark. You can see an infographic listing new features of the park, along with artist renderings of the changes, here. There are lots of photos of the construction in progress here on the Lugnuts’ Facebook page.
You also can look at photos of the stadium’s old video board being taken down here.