Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Have Confidence in Danny Duffy as Starter

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Have Confidence in Danny Duffy as Starter

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Danny Duffy has been here before, but the circumstances around his return to the rotation are in some ways not ideal.

But in a season that has so far been less than stellar for the Kansas City Royals, maybe a turn of events like two starting pitchers going on the disabled list can actually be beneficial in the long run, especially for Duffy.

Duffy (0-0, 3.00 ERA) will make his first start of the season against Atlanta's Matt Wisler (1-3, 3.27 ERA) in the 1:15 p.m. series finale Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

"Whether I'm starting or relieving, I'm going to use the exact same approach," Duffy said. "I'm just going to take that mentality straight to the mound and keep it simple."

Duffy, who can throw 97 mph and has a good curveball and changeup, began the year as the team's left-hander out of the bullpen. His longest outing was 12/3 innings so he will be on a pitch count of 50 pitches.

Duffy is in this familiar spot for two reasons. The first is because of his own struggles at times as a starter. The second, of course, is the team's current injury situation. With right-handers Chris Young and Kris Medlen going to the disabled list, manager Ned Yost had little choice but to insert Duffy and Dillon Gee into the rotation. Well, that's not entirely true. Yost could have inserted long reliever Chien-Ming Wang into Duffy's spot, but he opted not to.

"We just liked Duffy's stuff," Yost said. "He's done it before. We've gone to the playoffs the last two years with him in the rotation in the regular season and he's got power. You can get away with more mistakes with power. When you're a guy that's a strike thrower and you make a mistake, it's going to get hammered. With power, you can get away with it.

"And we recognize the fact that Danny's real comfortable in the role he's in. He's been doing a phenomenal job for us there, but we need him to step into the starting rotation and help us get going."

Out of the bullpen this year, Duffy predominately used his fastball. In 16 games covering 18 innings, he compiled 21 strikeouts against five walks. But Duffy will not be able to use his fastball alone as a starter.

"As a starter, you kind of have to throw your off-speed stuff more, whereas a reliever you can just go all out," Duffy said.

Though it will be only Duffy's first start of the year, Yost said having spent time in the bullpen likely will help him now even as a starter. …

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