KC Royals: Can Danny Duffy Stay Healthy For An Entire Season?
KC Royals fans and coach have been hoping for several years now that Danny Duffy would someday put it all together and become the starting pitcher that everyone thinks he could be. Since being thrust into the starting rotation, Duffy has been excellent and may finally be the young “ace” everyone though he could be. But can he last through the grind of an entire season?
Duffy was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft by the KC Royals out of high school. Duffy moved up fairly quickly though the Royals farm system making his MLB debut in 2011. The scouting report on Duffy was that he had an outstanding 95mph+ fastball, and one of the better breaking balls seen out of a LHP. The projection was that he would eventually settle into a #2 starters role. However, scouts said he often tried to nibble too much and his curve often caught too much of the plate.
In Duffy’s rookie season he started 20 games, with a 5.64 ERA in just over 105 innings. After a season of growing pains in 2011, mainly due to issuing too many walks, Duffy started hot in 2012 where he had an ERA of 3.9 in six starts. However, the 2012 season was cut short when he suffered a torn UCL in his left arm and underwent Tommy John’s surgery ending his season.
Duffy returned to the rotation at the tail end of 2013 going 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA. With the great start to 2012, and the low ERA in 2013, separated by Duffy’s recovery from Tommy John, it was thought that Duffy would slot in the 2014 season as the KC Royals #2 or #3 starter behind James Shields and Jason Vargas.
Next: Duffy Joins Rotation