Omaha Storm Chasers Using the Force, Danny Duffy Rehab Update, and More


It’s May the 4th, which turned into an unofficial Star Wars holiday on the internet and minor league baseball is picking up the trend. The Toledo Mud Hens will wear Chewbacca jerseys today and on the Royals side of things, the Omaha Storm Chasers are going to wear jerseys with the name “Omaha Force” on them in their second annual “What If…” Night. Last year, the Storm Chasers used the OmaHogs as their team name for the theme, one of the finalists when they were renaming the team.

Personally, I’d have suggested Omaha Storm Troopers, but that may have been too obvious (or there may have been licensing issues). Maybe they just wanted to be the good guys.

Other Notes:

Danny Duffy is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and is reportedly working around 94-97 mph with his fastball in workouts, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

April 22, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy (23) delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Duffy mentioned on Twitter that he’s throwing three innings on Monday so things seem to be on track. If he comes back in June, he presents the Royals with options. My guess is that he’ll start out in the minors beyond a rehab assignment just to be sure that he’s got everything back. If the Royals rotation is healthy and pitching well, I don’t think they’d change much up, but the door would be open for trades.

Right now Wade Davis is struggling and Luis Mendoza (when he can get a start) has been roughed up, so we can’t just assume everything will be going well. Duffy would make for a nice boost once he rejoins the rotation, though.

Duffy’s also reaching out on Twitter to an overseas fan. You may have heard of SungWoo Lee. He goes by the handle @KoreanFan_KC on Twitter, lives in South Korea, and often is up early in the morning to watch Royals games. He doesn’t have an American visa, has never been to the states but dozens of Twitter followers have started to root for him to make it to Kauffman Stadium. They’ve sent care packages so that he could have his first Royals jersey (among other things).

Well now Duffy is getting in on the action, offering a deal. If SungWoo can get the time off of work (a difficult task in an always-working Korea), Duffy will cover his flight.

It’s too easy to be cynical sometimes, and I think it’d be easy to point to this and say it’s an athlete trying to look good or show goodwill for the team. But after talking with Duffy a few times for the Kansas City Baseball Vault there’s nothing but sincerity here. I think that’s cool – it makes it one of those sports stories that go beyond what happens on the field. The community of fans is strong and having a vocal player join in makes it easier to be a fan.

-The Cubs were reportedly scouting the Royals farm system. They’ve been working to rebuild their farm system and the Royals have prospects. There could be a match as the Royals try to add a player that might help them at the big league level. The idea has been tossed out about David DeJesus being acquired as a platoon or full-time option if Jeff Francoeur fizzles out.

Rany Jazayerli talked about the idea back in March, then again on Friday and it’s not a wild idea. The Royals may not have to give much up because, at this point, DeJesus is just a platoon option. Since leaving Kansas City, he’s been miserable against left-handed pitching.

2010 (Royals)0.8640.725
2011 (A’s)0.7870.459
2012 (Cubs)0.8260.438
2013 (Cubs)0.9390.311