The Royals will start hard-throwing youngster Yordano Ventura in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Astros on Thursday night in Kansas City, Mo.

Royals manager Ned Yost announced his starter before Tuesday's workout. Johnny Cueto will pitch the second game and Edinson Volquez will start Game 3, with the rest of the rotation to be announced only if Games4 and 5 are necessary.

"For us, the last two weeks, three weeks, all three of those guys have been throwing the ball good," Yost said.

"Ventura has been excellent in his last six, seven starts. And we wanted to keep everybody on five days' rest. We thought that would work out best for us."

The 24-year-old Ventura weathered a roller coaster year that saw him briefly banished to Class AAA Omaha. But the star of Game6 of last year's World Series rebounded down the stretch, flashing his 100 mph fastball while going 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA in seven starts in September.

He allowed one run and four hits over seven innings Saturday in Minnesota.

Gallardo to start

Yovani Gallardo will start for the Rangers in their ALDS opener Thursday, and ace lefty Cole Hamels will pitch for the AL West champions in the second game at Toronto.

Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) won both of his starts this season against the Blue Jays, the only Texas wins against the AL East champs.

Hamels is 7-1 in 12 starts since Texas acquired him from Philadelphia in late July.

Harvey misses workout

Matt Harvey missed the Mets' mandatory workout at Citi Field and apologized to the team for arriving late.

The star pitcher did not give a reason for his absence when he spoke to reporters about 15 minutes after the workout ended. He did not take questions.

Manager Terry Collins told reporters Harvey called and said he got stuck in traffic.

Harvey is scheduled to start Game 3 at Citi Field on Monday.

Jennings back to GM

The Marlins made it official: Dan Jennings, who made the stunning move in May from general manager to manager without previous experience in the role, is returning to his former post in the front office. The club has already interviewed three candidates for the next manager, and more are expected, not necessarily confined to individuals who have previously managed in the major leagues.

Etc.

Ichiro Suzuki signed a $2 million, one-year contract to remain with the Marlins in hopes of reaching 3,000 hits. Suzuki, who turns 42 on Oct. 22, is tied for 33rd on Major League Baseball's hits list with 2,935.

Suzuki had 91 hits in 153 games for the Marlins this year but batted a career-low .229, dropping his career average to .314.

•Rockies manager Walt Weiss says he will return to the dugout next season after meeting with General Manager Jeff Bridich on Tuesday.

•The Indians shifted their front office, promoting General Manager Chris Antonetti to president of baseball operations and naming Mike Chernoff to GM.