Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
1. Danny Duffy
In a season filled with breakout campaigns for the Kansas City Royals, Danny Duffy’s 2014 season may have been the most impressive. Finally healthy after Tommy John surgery, Duffy posted a 2.53 ERA and a 1.112 WHiP between the rotation and the bullpen, belying his 9-12 record.
Naturally, it was expected that Duffy would take that next step, and along with Yordano Ventura, help front the Royals rotation this season. While Ventura has lived up to his part of the bargain, at least through the first week, Duffy has not. In his only start of the week, Duffy allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings. On the plus side, Duffy did strike out five batters as well.
Of course, it is only Danny Duffy’s first start of the season. Anyone can have a bad outing or two, and the Royals did win the game. However, Duffy is expected to help lead the Royals and to make up for some of the innings lost with the departure of James Shields. Five inning outings just will not do that.
Slated for two starts this week, Duffy will have a chance to prove that last week was just a bad start. Hopefully, he can prove that there is nothing to worry about.