The KC Royals veterans are hitting milestones this season and there may be time to hit a few more.
There aren’t many players left in Kansas City who were a part of the Royals 2015 World Series team. So far this year, though, it seems like those few who are still around are finding some milestones within their career and with the franchise.
Salvador Perez just recently recorded his 1000th hit, becoming the 13th Royal to accomplish this feat and putting himself among some of the best in Royals history.
Now, another veteran has hit an important milestone. In last night’s contests against the Rays, Danny Duffy recorded his 1000th strikeout. Now sitting at 1002, Duffy passed TomGordon (999) on the Royals career strikeouts list and moved into 6th.
He falls behind Kevin Appier (1458), Mark Bubicza (1366), Dennis Leonard (1323), Bret Saberhagen (1093), and Paul Splittorff (1057). Duffy is not far from passing both Splittorff and Saberhagen and if he continues to produce as he has so far, he could pass those marks during the 2021 season.
Even with Duffy’s impressive start (6.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts), much like the night when Salvy put up his 1000th hit, the Royals fell short and the bats were quiet and unable to help Duffy get the win. Still, what Duffy has been able to do so far this season should not be taken lightly.
Duffy is a pitcher who has seen inconsistencies during his entire career. He has been with the Royals since he was drafted in 2007 and during that time he has gone back and forth, sometimes putting up outstanding numbers and other times struggling to get through the season.
There has been some suggestion that Duffy would find a better role in the bullpen. His effectiveness as a reliever has been seen in past seasons and he still likely has a few years left on his arm.
So far this season, though, Duffy has been putting any concerns to rest. In 3 starts, Duffy has pitched 18 innings, averaging 6 innings a game for the first time since 2017. He has also only allowed 1 earned run, walked 6, and struck out 19 while his ERA is sitting at a low 0.50 and his FIP is 2.70.
The sample is still small, but Duffy is off to a blazing start. He has been a bright spot in the rotation and an important piece helping to keep the team moving.
"“I love talking about the Danny I’m watching show up here every day,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The one who’s doing his work in between his starts, how he’s competing, how he’s working with his teammates. I just don’t think it’s coincidence you’re seeing the kind of production you’re getting because of how consistently he’s going about his work. Just try to keep him in that space. What a great accomplishment for him.” mlb.com"
The 2021 season started out a bit rough for the rotation, but Duffy has been consistent in each of his starts. His veteran presence will be important going forward for the young arms on the team and especially in helping Brad Keller and Brady Singer bounce back from their struggled starts of the year.
There is still plenty of work to be done in Kansas City, but Danny Duffy looks to be on track for a great season and to put himself a bit higher on the strikeouts list in Royals history.
Danny Duffy reached 1000 strikeouts in last night’s loss to the Rays. While his previous seasons have seen various struggles, he seems more focused than ever to start the current season.