Coffee and Clippings: Yordano Ventura throws triple-digit heat in Royals’ win over A’s

Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) of the Kansas City Star writes that Yordano Ventura throws triple digit heat in the Royals’ win over the Athletics…

The probable replacement for Ervin Santana in the Royals rotation glanced at his sneakers. His teammate Christian Colon was translating for him after his best outing of the spring.

“He felt great out there,” Colon said of Yordano Ventura. “He just hopes to continue to do that.”

A little less than three weeks shy of opening day, the team has yet to deem Ventura worthy of the starting five. He continues to duel with Danny Duffy, who offered an encouraging three-inning performance on Sunday against the Rockies. But Ventura delivered an emphatic, 4 1/3-inning statement in a 3-1 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday.

David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks about the Braves’ reaction to the Santana signing and Kris Medlen’s injury…

**Kris Medlen

On how he spent past few days“I guess mentally preparing myself. Something that I’ve felt before. I think I had all the answers to anybody’s questions in my head when I was walking off the mound. I never do that. When I did it before in 2010, the same thing kind of happened. Nothing’s … (long pause, choked up) Nothing’s official, but I think I know and just go from there.”

Tim Britton (@TimBritton) of the Providence Journal writes that Jake Peavy’s intensity was evident from a young age…

Born and raised in Mobile, Jake Peavy was all-in for the Tide. Spending Saturdays watching Alabama football ran in the family. And when it came time for Peavy to explore his college choices, well, “choices” didn’t much need to be plural.

“I wanted, with all of me,” Peavy said, “to go to Alabama.”

While at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Peavy responsibly checked out other schools in the SEC — saving Alabama for last, of course. That even included Auburn, where Baird knew the easiest way to win a Tide fan over — which never takes long to notice, he said — was just to talk pitching.

Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review talks about the maturity and growth of Pirates’ first baseman Andrew Lambo…

“I can hit at this level. I belong here. I know that,” Lambo was telling me in the visitors’ dugout before the first pitch. “That doesn’t mean I think I deserve it. I believe you have to earn what you get. But I also believe in myself.”

I won’t lie: I haven’t believed in Lambo. I’ve heard for years about an inconsistent approach at the plate, a dubious glove, a cocky swagger and of course the 50-game drug suspension in 2010 while in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system after testing positive for a “drug of abuse.” It was suspected to be for smoking pot, an offense he had committed in high school, as well. To be blunt, he came across as a fool, throwing away talent that once had him rated Los Angeles’ No. 1 prospect, not to mention the millions that can come with a big-league career.

Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) of ESPN writes that Ryan Braun has signed his first endorsement deal since his ban…

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has agreed to his first endorsement deal since he was suspended for 65 games last season for violating Major League Baseball’s anti-drug agreement.

Upstart baseball cleat manufacturer 3N2 said it will pay Braun a fraction of the price he was getting from Nike, which terminated his deal on Aug. 2, although specific terms were not disclosed.

Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) of Baseball Prospectus talks about the good and bad news about instant replay’s spring trial…

What we’ve learned from watching the first two weeks of replay review trials in spring training is that the lack of a deterrent is going to be a problem. “Don’t overanalyze spring training stats” might apply here too, but we already saw this coming. Tuesday’s Mariners-Angels game saw the 21st challenge of spring training and the end to a streak that you could see as either embarrassing for the game or good for the umpires, who were 20-for-20 in upholding the other 20 challenged calls.

Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) of FanGraphs talks about the Braves signing Ervin Santana…

One way of looking at this: Baltimore plays with a homer factor of 110. Toronto plays with a homer factor of 107. Atlanta plays with a homer factor of 97. Another way of looking at this: over the past five years, Orioles starters have allowed 30 homers per 200 innings. Jays starters have allowed 27. Braves starters have allowed 19. What the Braves didn’t offer Santana was the promise of more money right away. But they did offer the softest landing, which increases Santana’s longer-term earning potential. Even though everyone’s aware of park adjustments, Santana could look a lot better coming off a year in Atlanta than a year in the AL East.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that though Chris Carpenter has retired, he has remained involved with the Cardinals…

“I was questioning myself this winter as to how I was going to feel,” he said. “But I never had an itch. When guys started throwing, I just kind of watched them throw, which was kind of strange.”

When the minor league games begin at the Cardinals’ complex today, Carpenter will be at the back fields watching. He will follow Mozeliak and Girsch, too.

“It’s definitely different not being in uniform and stuff,” said Carpenter, whose body finally gave out on him last year after a stellar Cardinals career.