The man who has started the last two Opening Days for the Kansas City Royals will be slowed down in Spring Training thanks to some tightness in his throwing shoulder.
Danny Duffy will only miss a couple of days with this tightness, per Jeffrey Flanagan. And that was as of two days ago. It should be no big deal, as long as it does not linger. The Kansas City Royals could use the southpaw healthy and at the top of their rotation in 2019.
Tightness like this can come with age. Pitching is a very hard thing to do and it does not get easier on the arm the older pitchers get. In fact, Duffy compared his shoulder issues to that of former teammate James Shields.
This is likely just a case of working too hard on an arm that is out of shape, and Duffy confirms that in the article by Flanagan linked above.
The good news is that Duffy told the team so it can get taken care of. With the competitive nature of players, that is not always a given. It helps that the lefty is not fighting for a roster spot, so he is comfortable sitting out a few days to be at his best.
The Kansas City Royals should have had good pitching depth in the 2019 season, but piece by piece it has gotten torn down. Losing Duffy for an extended period of time would make matters worse
It started with Eric Skoglund’s 80-game suspension for PEDs. After that, Jesse Hahn was placed on the 60-day injured list. And finally, Trevor Oaks potentially will need hip surgery. Not a great start for the Royals rotation.
An injury to Duffy might for the Kansas City Royals hand with Homer Bailey. Even with all the injuries, the team can still decide to keep him in the minors and risk his opt-out. If the lefty will need to miss a lot of time, then losing Bailey is not a risk the team can take.
Each season it is a puzzle to get the best team out on the field and these types of injuries make it a lot harder. While there is no indication that Duffy will miss any time, the threat of it is enough to have the front office start coming up with multiple alternatives.
For now, we can only hope the soreness in Duffy’s arm does not linger. Out of shape arm tightness goes away, and he did a good thing by telling the team. It looks like things are in the clear where that is concerned.