Royals Midseason Grades – Starting Rotation

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
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Danny Duffy has been the most pleasant surprise of 2016. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Danny Duffy Base Grade: A+ | Gnar Grade: Gnar

As I wrote before the season began, many people thought Duffy would be a fantastic addition to the Royals bullpen, given his huge arm and the fact that he is a left-hander.

However, with the struggles of basically every starter in the rotation, the Royals were forced to shove Duffy back into the rotation, despite his struggles their last season and his inability to find a third pitch.

Since being put back in the rotation, however, he has responded by being the best starting pitcher in the rotation. In ten starts, Duffy has posted a 3.14 ERA while walking just 11 hitters in 57.1 IP.

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Even more encouraging, Duffy has struck out 66 hitters during that span, good for a 10.36 K/9.

Duffy has been so good in his ten starts that he actually has a higher fWAR this season (1.0) than Ian Kennedy and Yordano Ventura combined (0.6).

In the past, Duffy has struggled to convert elite arm talent from the left side into strike outs, as well as struggling to throw strikes consistently enough to be a legitimate starting pitcher. Thus far in 2016, Duffy has not only improved in those areas, but he has blown them out of the water.

For better context, Duffy hasn’t walked anybody in six of his 10 starts. In his prior starts, he had only done that nine times.

To summarize, Duffman has been super gnar in 2016.

Next: Chris Young