Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

White Sox at Royals

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

White Sox at Royals

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the hoopla of opening day officially behind them, the Kansas City Royals can now get into the grind, the daily routine that makes up a grueling 162-game season.

This is essentially music to manager Ned Yost's ears, or better yet, an elixir to one of the game's most special days.

"The thing that messes with you a little bit is that everybody's such a creature of habit, and it does interfere with your routine," Yost said. "That's why I think everybody's glad when opening days are over so we can just get into the routine of the baseball season."

While daily routines don't change much in the regular season, the offseason is usually when players make adjustments, and that was the case for Danny Duffy. The Royals left-hander has battled injury problems throughout his career so in an effort to stay healthy for a full season, Duffy reduced some of his physical activities during the winter and focused on gaining weight and muscle.

"I ate like crazy and stopped running so much," said the 6-foot- 3, 205-pound Duffy. "I still run some. I'd go like 10 miles a day early in my career, and now I cut it down to three every couple days. It's something that I enjoy doing. It's not so much for baseball, it just happens to help me stay in shape."

Duffy, who made a career-high 31 appearances last year, including 25 starts, will take the mound against Chicago southpaw Jose Quintana in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. game at Kauffman Stadium as the Royals look to take the series.

A year ago, Duffy went 9-12 and posted a 2.53 ERA to go with 113 strikeouts and 53 walks in 1491/3 innings. Duffy, though, missed time in September with shoulder stiffness and was used sparingly during the playoffs as an injury to his rib cage kept him out of the starting rotation.

Used strictly as a reliever, Duffy pitched once in the American League Championship Series and twice in the World Series, his longest outing was three innings in Game 1 when he replaced James Shields.

But this year, the Royals are essentially pinning their hopes on Duffy and Yordano Ventura, two pitchers who have never thrown 200 innings before in their careers. …

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