Matt Duffy's star-crossed 2016 included a slow start in San Francisco, a trade deadline move to the Rays, and season-ending Achilles surgery in early September. Despite the hiccup, he's on track to be fully ready for spring training. Duffy is expected to take the reins as the starting shortstop in the coming season and will look to produce numbers much closer to his solid 2015 rookie season with the Giants, when he slashed .295/.334/.428 with 12 homers and 77 RBI. The 25-year-old saw a regression in all of those categories last season over 246 fewer plate appearances than the prior year. With a clean start and full health, however, Duffy could prove to be a valuable source of fantasy production in multiple categories, particularly extra-base hits, RBI, stolen bases, batting average and OBP.
Duffy's current physical setbacks may not be directly related to his surgically repaired heel according to manager Kevin Cash, The Tampa Bay Times reports. Duffy's progress from his surgery has appeared to stagnate this spring, but Cash mentioned Friday that the issues may lie with the tendons and muscles in the shortstop's ankle and calf. The atrophy that may have come about in the post-surgical period could be the culprit behind Duffy's slow recovery, which has led to him missing all of spring training.
Duffy (heel) is expected to visit the doctor who performed his surgery Wednesday to see if he needs to try a different rehab program, the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reports. He has not made much progress with strengthening his surgically repaired heel, and remains without a target date for returning to game action. Manager Kevin Cash said some of Duffy's issues may not be related to the surgery, which could be a good thing, and the Rays are hopeful that a timetable clears up in the next couple of days. Tim Beckham figures to open the season as the starting shortstop until Duffy returns to full health.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that Duffy (heel) isn't being ruled out for Opening Day, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports. Duffy hasn't quite recovered from September surgery on his left heel quite as quickly as the Rays anticipated, but the infielder is said to have made improvement with his condition in recent days. The Rays likely won't have a better read on his status for the start of the regular season until he draws closer to playing in Grapefruit League games, though it's still unclear when that may come to fruition. Until Duffy is back in action, Tim Beckham and Nick Franklin will handle most of the duties at shortstop.
Duffy (heel) will push back his spring debut from mid-March as his recovery progresses slower than expected, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The progression could impact Duffy's status for Opening Day in what would be a huge blow to the Rays' lineup. The 26-year-old has been brought along incrementally after undergoing surgery in September, but it appears the process hasn't been quick enough to meet his projected return date. It's worth keeping tabs on reserve infielders Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham, though there's still plenty of spring left for Duffy to make a return.
Duffy (heel) fielded ground balls Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The tentative plan is for Duffy to start playing in games around the middle of March. As long as he continues progressing without any setbacks, it's entirely possible that Duffy will be ready to take on the starting spot at shortstop by Opening Day.