KC Royals: Danny Duffy is the American League ERA Leader

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) - Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy (41) - Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

In a stunning turn of events, the KC Royals’ Danny Duffy leads the American League with a 2.66 Earned Run Average.

The Kansas City Royals have been waiting on Danny Duffy to emerge as a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher for a few years now. Duffy has teased them with some impressive performances in the past before crashing a bit in 2015.

He may be the ace for which the Royals are looking.

In 2014, Duffy fell just a few innings short of qualifying for the Earned Run Average leaderboard. His 2.53 ERA would have put him fifth, over 149.1 innings. In 2012 through 2013, Duffy posted an ERA of 2.94 in 11 starts.

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In 2015, he struggled, posting an ERA of 4.35 as a starter, though he appeared in six games as a reliever without allowing a run.

The biggest culprit to Duffy’s struggles was Base on Balls. Even when he posted a good ERA in 2012 through 2014, his Walks per Nine Innings was 3.8. His Strikeout to Walk Ratio was a paltry 1.92.

Last year he was right in line with those numbers but with less positive results.

Fast forward to this year and it appears as if that proverbial light switch clicked on for Duffy while in the bullpen.  His BB/9IP is cut in half at 1.9, and his K/BB ratio has improved to a sparkling 5.07.

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He’s pitched two more innings thus far than he did last season, and 11 fewer than in 2014, yet he has walked 24 fewer batters than the 53 he put on base both of those seasons.

Danny Duffy is trusting the stuff that made fans and the Royals organization drool with anticipation.

Now he sits atop of the American League in ERA! He’s fifth in BB/9IP and tied for ninth among starting AL pitchers in Wins Above Replacement at 3.2.

Duffy has approximately seven starts left this season. If he can maintain his performance, he could indeed win the AL ERA title.

He has been incredibly consistent all season, only allowing more than three runs twice since moving into the rotation on May 15 (and not more than five in any outing). He’s only allowed more than two runs in a game seven times all year.

He has been the rock of the rotation, and if the Royals are going to continue to push up the standings toward another postseason appearance, Danny Duffy needs to continue his awesome season.

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The KC Royals have a tough hill to climb, despite their recent hot streak. They are still five games out of the last Wild Card spot. There are seven teams tied or ahead of the Royals for the two Wild Card postseason slots.

Hopefully, Danny Duffy will be one of many heroes as the Kansas City Royals try to defend their World Series title.