Kansas City Royals

Royals place Danny Duffy on injured list, could be a 2-3 week stint

Hamstring strain shuts down Royals pitcher Danny Duffy

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy talks about the hamstring injury that forced him onto the injured list after he pulled up while running in a pregame workout at Fenway Park.
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Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy talks about the hamstring injury that forced him onto the injured list after he pulled up while running in a pregame workout at Fenway Park.

Perhaps the only thing Royals left-hander Danny Duffy does more than pitch during the baseball season is run. Now, running has betrayed him. A hamstring injury forced him onto the 10-day injured list and assured he won’t make his next start on Thursday in Detroit.

Duffy sustained a grade 1 left hamstring strain while running in the outfield at Fenway Park as part of his routine on Monday, and he went on the injured list retroactive to Sunday. He’s likely to miss two to three weeks.

Right-handed reliever Jake Newberry has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha, and reliever Jorge Lopez, who started this season before going to the bullpen, is expected to start on Thursday in Duffy’s place.

“We were running sprints. It was my day to run in the outfield, and I felt something and pulled up,” Duffy said. “I mean, it was pretty matter-of-fact. I just went over to the training staff and said, ‘Hey, I think I’ve either got a really bad cramp or I just pulled my hamstring.’ That’s what happened. It’s pretty frustrating.”

Duffy’s most recent start was Saturday in Minnesota. He was roughed up for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings and took the loss to drop to 5-6 this season.

“I want to obviously preface it, I was just brutal in my last start,” Duffy said. “This had nothing to do with my last start. I was really looking forward to getting back out there. I know what I’ve got to do to get outs. I was looking forward to showing that.”

Duffy, who regularly goes on runs covering multiple miles to clear his head and relax, moved gingerly both in the clubhouse and was very slow coming up and down the stairs in the dugout.

He played catch lightly on the field prior to Tuesday’s game. The hope is that he’ll be able to keep his arm and shoulder in shape. If he has to build arm strength back up with a throwing program after his hamstring injury heals, that will elongate his stay on the injured list.

“We’ll do what we’ve got to do to get back quick and not overdo it and not have to miss more time because of a setback,” Duffy said. “We’ve got a great training staff in there. … It could be a lot worse. Getting old ain’t it.”

Lopez, who last appeared in a game on Saturday in relief of Duffy, will likely have a limit of 65-75 pitches.

“It’s an opportunity,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Lopez’s spot start. “It’s as tough as you want to make it. It’s as simple as that. Go out and pitch. He’s built up to 75 pitches. He’s started before. He’ll be fine.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.
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