Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Player Profile: Danny Duffy

 

 

The Kansas City Royals are coming off their best season since 1989, and are looking to improve on their 86 wins in 2013. Going forward, we are going to take a closer look at the players that should play significant roles for the Royals in 2014, as they try to make their first post season appearance since winning the World Series in 1985.

If you want to read the other completed profiles, just click here. This link will be updated as we add more profiles over the upcoming weeks.

Up next: pitcher Danny Duffy.

Is anyone else worried that the Kansas City Royals are on a path to screw up Danny Duffy and/or Yordano Ventura? The fact the Royals don’t want both of them in the rotation is worry enough, but if it is for the right reasons, it is understandable.

Neither Duffy or Ventura have a history of pitching deep into games – not in the minors, and not in the majors. Manager Ned Yost could be worried about putting stress on the bullpen if they have two pitchers in the rotation who can’t get out of the 5th inning every start. Heck, I have worried about this myself.

That the Royals are considering pitching either out of the bullpen is a mistake. These two pitchers have to at least fail as starters before exiling them to the bullpen. If one doesn’t make the Opening Day rotation, he must be sent to Omaha, and that seems to be the plan at this point.

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy (23) Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

But which one. We are going to have to wait and see.

Duffy has more experience, and has already had his Tommy John surgery. While his overall Major League numbers are not impressive – 4.75 ERA, and 1.570 WHIP – his last 11 starts, covering his starts in 2012 before the arm issues, and late last season in September of 2013, are much more impressive.

In those last 11 starts, he has a 2.94 ERA and a WHIP of 1.481. The biggest issue with Duffy is his lack of control. In those 11 starts, he has pitched 52 innings (not good), with 50 strikeouts (good), and 32 walks (not good).

His Strikeouts Per 9 Innings is 8.7, in those games games, which is a very solid number for a starter, but his Base on Balls Per 9 of 5.5 is not. He also has only allowed 2 home runs in those 11 games, which is excellent.

If Duffy could bring his walks down, and his innings up, he could be a very solid number three pitcher, or even a passable number two starter for the Royals.  That is the hope.

There have been flashes of his great talent but with the arm injury in the middle of that time period, those 11 starts span nearly 18 months.

More data is needed but if Duffy is healthy, and he can increase his stamina and control, the Royals will be hard pressed to send Duffy to either the bullpen or AAA. It would be terrific if both of Kansas City’s young, talented arms could push the issue, and both earn their way into the rotation. That could only be great for the Royals.

It is worrisome the Royals didn’t feel secure in having both in the rotation, and felt the need to re-sign Bruce Chen for a rotation spot.

Duffy has the most experience, and unless he is a train wreck in Spring Training, he should be in the starting rotation, regardless of what the Royals decide to do with Ventura.

It is actually kind of nice to see the Kansas City Royals in a conundrum with their rotation because they have several realistic candidates.

Here’s hoping they don’t blow it with Danny Duffy.

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Tags: Danny Duffy Kansas City Royals

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