Danny Duffy will be the KC Royals’ Opening Day starter and even in a shortened season, it’s a big one for Duff Man.
This wasn’t a shocking decision, as Brad Keller – who likely would have been named the starter for Opening Day – is currently shelved due to testing positive for COVID-19. If Keller is able to rejoin the team quickly, it’s still Duffy’s job and rightfully so.
Manager Mike Matheny announced the news on Tuesday afternoon.
This will be the third Opening Day start for Duffy, who got the nod in both 2017 and 2018. Keller started for the Royals last year, but as mentioned above, he’s currently not an option due to his positive test.
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Duffy, Mike Montgomery, and Jakob Junis should round out the rest of the rotation and Keller will obviously be right there once he can rejoin the team. It wouldn’t be crazy to see Brady Singer sneak in as the fifth starter.
This Opening Day start will be important for Duffy for a number of reasons.
For one, if the Royals get off to a hot start, there’s a chance they can make a surprising run to the postseason. Playing just 60 games means that if anyone gets hot right out of the gate, they have as good a chance as any to play for a World Series title this fall.
Secondly, Duffy has been very inconsistent throughout his Royals career. He’s had some awesome ups, but then has had some pretty painful downs. Keller took over as the number one starter last year due to his impressive 2018 campaign and now Duffy can fight to win it back.
Duffy could also be someone the Royals look to trade at the deadline should they indeed be sellers. A solid few starts and padding of the stats could easily make Duffy look like an attractive trade acquisition for a team looking to go all in at the deadline.
Duffy did well in his 2017 Opening Day start, throwing six innings of one run ball against the Twins. The bullpen coughed up that lead after a dominant outing by Duff Man.
His 2018 Opening Day start was not very good though, as Duffy surrendered five runs through just four innings in what ended as a 14-7 Royals loss to the White Sox. That was an ugly outing.
Hopefully we see the 2017 Opening Day Danny Duffy on July 24th when the Kansas City Royals take on the Cleveland Indians.