Tag:Danny Duffy
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Kansas City Royals



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

Long a punching bag for fans and media alike, the Kansas City Royals have become a darling in recent years due to their strong farm system. We keep hearing about how they'll be a World Series caliber team by 2014 and the first wave of strong talent hit the bigs in 2011 -- with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas leading the charge. There's more on the way, too. For the purposes of this exercise, though, the Royals get to add two All-Star veterans to the lineup who have long since departed. Oh, and they get back an aloof ace.

Lineup

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Damon, RF
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Carlos Beltran, CF
5. Billy Butler, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
9. Mike Aviles, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Zack Greinke
2. Luke Hochevar
3. Aaron Crow
4. Danny Duffy
5. Chad Durbin

Bullpen

Closer - J.P. Howell
Set up - Jeremy Affeldt, Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Tim Byrdak, Mike MacDougal
Long - Louis Coleman

Notable Bench Players

Matt Treanor, Kila Ka'aihue, Mark Ellis, David DeJesus, Mitch Maier, Jarrod Dyson

What's Good?

That really looks like a nice lineup. There's obviously some growing up to be done in the 6-7-8 spots, but that's a lot easier done when the top five spots are that strong. And remember, Wil Myers is on the way ...

What's Not?

With Beltran and Damon getting up into their high-30s, the outfield defense would lack range. Of course, DeJesus and Dyson are both available off the bench as late-inning defensive replacements, so the situation wouldn't be dire. There is no real closer, but that's a bit overrated anyway. And the starting rotation leaves something to be desired, for now, until Crow and Duffy prove their worth and some of the other prospects (like John Lamb and Mike Montgomery) start to arrive.

Comparison to real 2011

It's actually pretty similar, aside from a few huge names. These Royals have Beltran and Damon instead of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, while Greinke has been thrown atop the rotation. Those are upgrades and, remember, the real-life Royals didn't get full seasons out of many of their young players. It's reasonable to put this squad above .500 and maybe even lingering around in the playoff chase into August.

Up Next: Atlanta Braves

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Posted on: September 26, 2011 4:55 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Kansas City Royals

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Kansas City Royals
Record: 70-89, 22 games back in AL Central
Manager: Ned Yost
Best hitter: Alex Gordon -- .303/.376/.502, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 101 R, 45 2B, 17 SB
Best pitcher: Aaron Crow -- 4-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 64 K, 61 IP

Few seasons that end with a team 22 games back will garner as much optimism as the 2011 Royals, a team with few expectations other than playing time for young players and giving a glimpse of the future. Even before 2011, that future was bright -- but with some of the performances by the Royals' youngsters and even its less-youngsters -- have made that future seem even brighter.

2011 SEASON RECAP

For the 2011 Royals, the wins and losses were never part of the proposition, it was progress by the likes of Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Johnny Giavotella and Salvador Perez. What the Royals found was that Hosmer is an absolute stud, Escobar can contribute enough at the plate to keep his glove in the lineup and Moustakas, after a rough start, has shown the ability that had so many excited. 

Not only were the new toys impressive, so were some of the other, slightly older types, such as Gordon, Billy Butler, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur (none of whom are older than 27). In all, the Royals were sixth in the American League in runs (719), fourth in batting average (.274) and fifth in OPS (.743) -- all marks better than league average.

The problem for the Royals was finding pitching, finishing 12th out of 14 AL teams in team ERA at 4.46, allowing the third-best OPS by opponent batters (.763) and their starters had a 4.83 ERA. 

2012 AUDIT

The rotation remains a mess, and without a significant trade or two in the offseason will likely stay that way. It's never a good sign when your best starter was Bruce Chen. There are, of course, good pitching prospects, but the arms the organization was banking on breaking through all took steps back in 2011, with lefty John Lamb undergoing Tommy John surgery, another lefty, Mike Montgomery, struggled in Triple-A, while yet another lefty, Chris Dwyer, struggled in Double-A.

Left-hander Danny Duffy had his ups and downs, going 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in the big leagues, but his stuff was never in question. Many talented young pitchers have struggled in the big leagues before finding their control.

Former Astro Felipe Paulino (an actual right-hander) pitched relatively well this season for the Royals, going 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA for the Royals in 118 2/3 innings. Luke Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall pick, has teased with his talent -- but seems to do so every year. If this is the year he puts it all together…

FREE AGENTS
C Jason Kendall
RHP Kyle Davies
LHP Bruce Chen
LHP Jeff Francis

OFFSEASON FOCUS

The offseason focus is pitching, namely starting pitching. Of course, few teams aren't looking for starting pitching. The difference is the Royals still have some talented prospects to dangle.

  • Every offseason there seems to be a pitcher that most didn't think was available, but yet the thoughts of a big-named prospect can get another GM excited (think Shaun Marcum last offseason). The Royals have the prospects to flip for a high-quality pitcher -- and any chance they get, they should take.
  • The Royals missed their shot to trade high on Joakim Soria, who went from one of the game's best closers to being that guy in Kansas City. That said, he has a track record and team-friendly contract. He could bring back a starter for a team desperate for a reliever. The Royals have a $6 million options or 2012 and options for 2013-14. He does have a limited no-trade clause, but that could be waived.
  • Move Crow from the bullpen to the starting rotation. He can always go back, and going back is easier during the season than moving into the rotation. Crow was a starter until this season and still projects as one.
  • Offer arbitration to Melky Cabrera -- sure, he's due to regress and he'll probably make more than he's worth right now, but he could bring something at the trade deadline if nothing else works out. It also doesn't seem like the team has a center fielder ready to take over quite yet.
  • Ricky Nolasco has talent, but his recent struggles mean the Royals won't have to give up much to get the right-hander from Florida. A middle-tier Royals prospect is better than some team's top-tier prospects and it may not even take that to get Nolasco. Kauffman Stadium is a place where pitchers can succeed, so a change of scenery could help. He's owed 20.5 million over the next two seasons, but the Royals are said to have some money to play with. If they take his salary, they won't even have to give up much in prospects.
The Royals are unlikely to contend in 2012, but the promising start of 2011 should continue and if the pitching talent develops or the team makes some big moves to get pitchers to Kansas City, the playoffs could reach KC by 2013.

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Posted on: September 15, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Royals shut down Hochevar, Francis next

Luke HochevarBy C. Trent Rosecrans

After throwing a career-high 198 innings, the Royals are shutting down starter Luke Hochevar. The former top overall pick of the draft went 11-11 with a  4.68 ERA in 2011, the most innings he's thrown in his professional career.

Last year he threw 108 innings -- 103 for the Royals -- after throwing 191 innings in 2009 between the Royals (143) and Triple-A Omaha (48).

Hochevar picked up his 11th victory of the season on Wednesday, throwing six innings in his 31st start of the season. The 28-year-old went 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts after the All-Star break.

"Could he finish the year? Yeah. He wants to," manager Ned Yost told reporters (via the Kansas City Star). "But for me, it just doesn't make any sense to continue to push his innings when he's in a good spot. It gives us an opportunity to look at somebody else."

Hochevar would have made two more starts, on Tuesday and on Sept. 25. The Star's Bob Dutton speculates right-hander Luis Mendoza could take Hochevar's spot if the Triple-A Storm Chasers finish out the Pacific Coast League playoffs in a timely fashion. Omaha currently leads Sacramento 2-0 in the best-of-five championship series. Omaha plays at Sacramento on Friday with heralded left-hander Mike Montgomery scheduled to pitch in what could be the clinching game. Mendoza isn't on the team's 40-man roster, but the Royals currently have an open spot. Right-handers Vin Mazzaro and Sean O'Sullivan are on the 40-man and could also get the call, with at least one of them likely to make a start for Kansas City before the end of the season, if not both.

Kansas City has already shut down lefty Danny Duffy. Duffy went 4-8 with a 5.64 ERA in 20 starts this season. Left-hander Jeff Francis will also be shut down after his start on Thursday against the White Sox. Francis entered the night 5-16 with a  4.88 ERA.

Felipe Paulino, Everett Teaford and Bruce Chen are left in the rotation to finish out the season.

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Posted on: July 23, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Rays manager likes what he sees in Royals' future

Joe MaddonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Rays manager Joe Maddon knows a little something about projecting talent -- or at least seeing it in its nascent stages.

In Kansas City facing the Royals, Maddon told the Kansas City Star he sees what the Royals are doing with their young talent and likes the direction they're headed.

From the Star's Rustin Dodd:

“They got some interesting folks over there, no question,” Maddon said of the Royals’ young players. “I can see what they’re doing from a distance. Being a developmental guy, I like what they’re doing. I know it’s going to pay off. You gotta be patience. That’s the most difficult part about it is being patience.

“But once you are patient, eventually the rewards are going to come back to them. They’ve got a tradition in this city baseball-wise. I think they have one of the best baseball venues in all of baseball right here – I love this place.

“I loved what they originally had. I loved the little bit of the (renovation). It’s tremendous; it’s a great place to play baseball."

The Royals' young talent has been hyped all offseason, with many people calling it the best collection of minor-league talent they've ever seen, or at least in recent memory.

Kansas City has already graduated Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to the big leagues this season, as well as Tim Collins, Aaron Crow and Danny Duffy

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Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:32 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pirates reach .500

Andrew McCutchen

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates -- The Pirates evened their record at 30-30 on the season in large part because of their center fielder. McCutchen had a hand in all three of the Pirates' run, including the walk-off homer in the 12th. McCutchen's sacrifice fly in the third gave the Pirates an early lead and then he extended the game in the 10th when he doubled and scored on Neil Walker's single. He ended the game in the 12th with his shot off Zach Kroenke to lead off the inning.

Ryan Dempster, Cubs -- The Cubs warmed up Rodrigo Lopez just in case Dempster couldn't start because of a pain he felt in his hip before the game. Turns out, he was fine -- allowing just one run on three hits in six innings, striking out eight and ending the Cubs' eight-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati. With the win, Dempster now has 107 career wins, the second-most by any Canadian player -- just 177 behind Ferguson Jenkins.

Ben Revere, Twins -- Starting in the place of Denard Span, Revere led off against the Indians and finished with three singles. All three of his singles figured in the Twins' three runs of the day, as he drove in two and scored one. His two-out single in the 10th scored Drew Butera and gave Minnesota the victory.


Don Kelly, Tigers -- Kelly had a solo homer to put the Tigers on the board in the first inning, but then with bases loaded in the third inning, he air mailed a throw home on Craig Gentry's grounder to third, allowing a run to score. Covering home on the play, he couldn't come up with the throw from the catcher, as Chris Davis scored to give Texas a 2-1 lead. Josh Hamilton followed with a two-run double. That's all Alexi Ogando needed in a 7-3 Rangers win.

Danny Duffy, Royals -- One of Kansas City's vaunted rookie class is having a tough go of it so far in the big leagues. Duffy gave up five runs and eight hits while walking four in his four innings in Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Blue Jays. Duffy is now 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA in five starts. 

Oakland Athletics -- The A's have now lost nine in a  row. During their slide, the team has scored 26 runs and allowed 53, being shut out twice. It's their longest losing streak since a 10-game slide in July, 2008. They head to Chicago to begin a four-game series with the White Sox on Thursday.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 5:19 pm
 

On Deck: Duffy's coronation


By C. Trent Rosecrans

ROYAL DEBUT: We recently saw the start of the Royals' rich minor league system infiltrate the big leagues with the promotion of Eric Hosmer (.270/.349/.568 in 10 games), and now we're beginning to see what really may be the strength of the team's system -- left-handed pitching. Duffy is one of four left-handed starters ranked in the top 10 of Baseball America's ranking of Royals prospects (deemed perhaps the best system ever) -- and third among those, behind John Lamb and Mike Montgomery. Duffy was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts in Triple-A, has above-average stuff, including a mid-90s fastball. Rangers at Royals, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Jorge De La RosaCole HamelsLEFTY BONANZA: The pitching matchup of the night leans further left than Dennis Kucinich -- the Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels. De La Rosa has struggled in his career against the Phillies, going 0-3 with a 9.78 ERA, but he's had better results this year than in years past, accumulating a 5-1 record with a 3.70 ERA. Looking a little closer to his numbers, there's not a whole lot of difference between De La Rosa last year and this year, his xFIP is similar (3.61 this season, 3.65 last). The biggest differences are that he's walking fewer batters (3.70 walks per 9), getting more ground balls (42 percent this season, 52.3 last) and fewer of his fly balls are traveling for homers (7.7 percent this season, 7.7 last). Hamels struggled a little in his first and last start, but in the six in between those two, he's 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Rockies at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Bud NorrisBAD MATCHUP: As Matt wrote earlier, Albert Pujols has tied his career-long with 22 games without a homer. For the most part, you'd expect him to own a guy named Bud -- but a look at the stats say no. Against Astros starter Bud Norris, Pujols is hitting .235/.316/.353 with two doubles in 19 plate appearances -- and no home runs. In seven career starts against the Cardinals, Norris is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA and 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA at Busch Stadium. Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse didn't allow a run in seven innings against the Astros in a win on April 27. Astros at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Royals call up another top prospect in Duffy

DuffyBy Evan Brunell

The Royals will call up left-handed starter Danny Duffy to make a spot start Wednesday after the club optioned out expected starter Vin Mazzaro, the Royals announced.

Duffy, 22, has a chance to stick in the rotation long-term as the team will have two vacant spots in the rotation due to the Mazzaro demotion and Kyle Davies hitting the disabled list. Nate Adcock or Mazarro's replacement in Everett Teaford will draw Davies' spot later in the week.

Duffy, who briefly retired from baseball for a time in 2010, ranked as the No. 79 prospect on CBSSports.com's Top 100 prospect rankings. The left-hander has made seven starts at the Triple-A level thus far, posting a 3.00 ERA and sterling 43/10 K/BB ratio.

With the Royals hanging around in the AL Central, six games behind the Indians, and the upside-down division up for grabs, K.C. has proven rather aggressive in promoting its prospects, even though both Duffy and first baseman Eric Hosmer will likely qualify for Super 2 arbitration after 2013 -- if Super 2 is even part of the next labor agreement.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 11, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Who gets next call for Royals?

By Matt Snyder

If you've been paying attention to any prospect talk since the beginning of spring training, odds are you've heard the Royals have a stacked system. The major-league group is playing above expectations to this point at 18-17 and is already pretty young with the nucleus of Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera and nearly the entire bullpen -- including closer Joakim Soria -- being 27 years old or younger.

With last week's promotion of Eric Hosmer (who is hitting .250 with a .438 on-base percentage through four games), I started thinking ahead to how long it will be until the Royals gave another one of their promising youngsters a promotion to the bigs. After all, only Butler and Soria -- and maybe Gordon -- from the above group were supposed to be part of the nucleus in the next decade when most said the Royals would be a legitimate playoff team.

The three closest to major-league ready from the list of hyped prospects are Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy and Mike Montgomery.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas is the best bat in the system now that Hosmer's up. He got off to a slow start, but has picked things up of late. He's hitting .333 with two home runs, eight RBI and a 1.002 OPS in nine May games for Triple-A Omaha. We know he can crush the ball, too, because last season between Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .322 with 36 home runs, 124 RBI, 94 runs, 41 doubles and a .999 OPS in 118 games.

He's a third baseman, though, and the Royals are getting good production right now from both Mike Aviles and Wilson Betemit. There's no reason to make the move now and start Moustakas' service-time clock with guys getting the job done, especially since he's only been hitting well for a few weeks. He's only 22, so there's no rush.

The one area where the Royals do have a concern in 2011, should they stay competitive in the AL Central or Wild Card races, is the starting rotation. Luke Hochevar isn't going anywhere, but Jeff Francis has been bad and Kyle Davies has been worse. Bruce Chen has been placed on the disabled list and Vin Mazzaro has gotten the call to take his spot. No, Mazzaro isn't one of the stable of ballyhooed prospects. He's a guy who went 10-17 with a 4.72 ERA in 41 games for the A's the past two seasons, though he's only 24 and hasn't been dreadful in the minors. He was chosen over Duff and Montgomery for the time being, but that's not a statement on the two young guns.

Montgomery, 21, has a 2.84 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 38 Triple-A innings. The 6-foot-4 left-hander probably needs to cut down his walks (21) before the Royals are ready to give him the call. And, again, he's awfully young to be rushed to the majors and have that service clock get started.

Duffy, on the other hand, has a sparkling line in Triple-A. Through six starts, he sports a 2.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 41 strikeouts and just seven walks in 32 innings. He's similar to Montgomery in that he's a tall (6-foot-3) left-hander. Duffy's also doing the same thing this year he did last season once promoted to Double-A, which is mow down opposing hitters.

It probably won't be awfully soon, but your best bet for the next big-time Royals prospect to join the majors is Moustakas due to his immense upside. It might be several weeks or even months, because he would need a chain reaction of things to happen before the call is made. All Duffy needs is for someone in the organization to grow tired of seeing Davies and/or Francis running out there every fifth day and just decide to go with him, so he has a shot to beat the heavily-hyped slugger to Kansas City.

No matter who it is, it would certainly be an exciting time to be a Royals fan -- something that hasn't been said for a long time. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com