Why I Wanted Danny Duffy In The Bullpen
However, there is a reason I wanted Duffy in the pen, and it’s not because he isn’t a capable starting pitcher.
One of the first tweets I saw after the announcement on Duffy was made was about his velocity and ability to miss bats.
Kiley was referencing Duffy’s ability as a reliever, citing him as “pretty damn good” in an earlier tweet.
And he’s not wrong.
Unfortunately, those results likely won’t continue with Duffy as a starter. This is especially true with the velocity, something that baseball fans tend to see out of context, especially when it comes to starters and relievers.
Long story short, Duffy will likely not be averaging 96 MPH on his fastballs come Sunday.
Want proof? Take a look at this velocity chart, via Brooks Baseball.
Notice that Duffy’s velocity peaks over the last three seasons for the Royals (including 2016) bookend a velocity plateau.
The first dot is from April of 2014, with the last three “peak” dots (ignore the 3/16 dot that represents Spring Training) are from October of 2015 up until the present day.
He has made 30 appearances for the Royals in those four months. None of them were starts.
During that span, Duffy has averaged just a tick under 97 MPH on his fastballs, while striking out 44 batters in just 34 innings.
In the 276 innings in between, he has struck out 201 (good for a 6.55 K/9) and averaged just over 94 MPH on his fastballs.
Next: Lack Of Whiffs As A Starter