KC Royals: Five Reasons Danny Duffy Became The Staff Ace
By John Viril
2) Duffy Has Changed His Pitch Mix
Danny Duffy has changed up his pitch selection quite a bit in 2016. He’s using his fourseam fastball less than ever before, down to 41.60% of the time from 53.49% in 2015 and 65.14% in 2012.
Instead of relying so much on his hard fastball, he’s bumped his sinker usage from 9.67% in 2015 to 15.35% in 2016. He’s completely junked his curve, which is a decision he made in 2015. Duffy used to throw one 13.74% of the time in 2014. Finally, Duffy has increased his use of the hard sinker to 22.49%, up from 12.25% in 2015.
In short, he’s replaced about 20% of his fourseam fastballs with the sinker. And he’s using his change-up rather than curve.
Thus, Duffy is now a four—rather than five—pitch pitcher, which has led to more consistent control and has improved his ability to both miss bats and last deeper into games. That’s a bit of an unusual transformation. Typically a guy that jumps up his strikeout rate, also increases his pitch count—thus compromising his ability to go deep into games.
Danny Duffy has really pulled off quite the parlor trick in 2016, and it’s one of the biggest reasons he’s become the KC Royals ace.
Let’s just hope the results continue to hold true as hitters adjust to Duffy’s new approach on the mound. But, right now, the results look very promising.
Next: Reason No. 1