Less than 24 hours after announcing they’d placed Danny Duffy on the Injured List with a left forearm flexor strain, it appears the KC Royals can breathe a sigh of some relief.
And so can Duffy.
Facing the media at Kauffman Stadium this afternoon, Duffy disclosed that there isn’t something more serious occurring within his throwing arm. That information alone derailed anticipation that more disturbing news might be coming after the club announced the impending press conference earlier in the day.
Holding a press conference to provide an update about what seems like a non-career threatening injury may seem odd, but team communications official Mike Swanson explained why the Royals chose to provide the press an opportunity to speak directly to Duffy:
When Duffy will rejoin the club and its starting rotation remains uncertain, but the good news is that the veteran lefthander, now in his 11th big league season, apparently won’t need surgery. Flexor strains occasionally are precursors of Tommy John surgery; Duffy had TJS in 2012, and certainly doesn’t want to undergo the procedure again.
As immediately reported during the conference by Alec Lewis, Royals beat writer for The Athletic, that things aren’t as concerning as they could have been was confirmed by MRI:
Duffy’s flexor strain, the second of his career, interrupts what had so far been his best pitching since he went 12-3 in 2016. Although his 4-4 effort during last year’s pandemic-shortened season was decent, his 4-3 record through his most recent 2021 start is better, and his glittering 1.94 indicates how well he’s pitched. He wasn’t quite as good in his last two starts as he was in his first five, when he went 4-1 with an 0.60 ERA, but nothing in starts six and seven gave any obvious clues that Duffy wasn’t 100 per cent.
Who pitches for Duffy tonight, and who replaces him on the KC Royals’ roster?
Before landing on the 10-day IL, Duffy was scheduled to start tonight’s homestand opener against Milwaukee. Kris Bubic, a 2020 rotation partner of Duffy’s who’s pitched well in relief this season after being recalled from the minor leagues, will take Duffy’s place. And Kyle Zimmer, his recent minor league rehabilitation assignment now complete, is taking Duffy’s spot on the KC Royals’ active roster.
Now, Duffy and the Royals must wait out the southpaw’s healing process. The club needs Duffy back, but he won’t be rushed.
Monday’s news about Danny Duffy was troubling. Tuesday’s was better