Matt Duffy injured his heel prior to the 2017 season, and various setbacks prevented him from making a single appearance during the campaign. Prior to missing the 2017 season, he'd played in just 91 games in 2016 due to an Achilles injury. At this point in time, Duffy is in line to be healthy for spring training. The Rays retained the arb-eligible Adeiny Hechavarria, maintaining an insurance policy in case Duffy's injury issues rear their ugly head once again. With a career line of .281/.324/.395 and a modest 15.4 percent strikeout rate, Duffy has built a respectable resume at the big-league level, but his power is modest and that limits his appeal at a suddenly talent-rich shortstop position. Considering his history of injuries, it wouldn't be a surprise if Tampa Bay limited Duffy's usage during the early stages of the upcoming season.
Duffy (Achilles) is listed as the Rays' starting third baseman for the team's split-squad Grapefruit League game Friday against the Pirates, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports. There haven't been any reports in the first week of spring training that Duffy has incurred any setbacks with his left Achilles' tendon, which sidelined him for the entire 2017 campaign while he recovered from a second surgery to address the injury. After Duffy was able to get in some at-bats during the Rays' fall instructional league without incident, it's not expected he'll face many limitations this spring as he aims to win an everyday role at third base. Duffy's history of foot issues may result in him abandoning the run game this season, but if he holds down a full-time gig, his solid contact skills could earn him a spot near the top of the Rays' order and make him an asset in both runs and batting average.
Duffy (Achilles) agreed to a one-year, $930,000 deal with Tampa Bay on Friday to avoid arbitration, Roger Mooney of The Tampa Bay Times reports. This was the first offseason Duffy was an arbitration-eligible player, and he earned a $384,700 raise from his 2017 salary. The third baseman wasn't able to play in any games last year because of an Achilles injury he suffered during the 2016 campaign. He was able to resume running earlier this week and could start off the year as the Rays' everyday third baseman if he's able to demonstrate full health during spring training.
Duffy recently resumed running on a track and has been attending therapy three days a week to ensure his left Achilles' tendon is healing as expected, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. Projected to open last season as the Rays' starting shortstop, Duffy never logged a single at-bat in 2017 after suffering multiple setbacks with the Achilles and ultimately requiring his second surgery to address the injury. Though he'll need to prove in the spring that his health isn't a concern, Duffy is the frontrunner to secure a full-time role at third base heading into the upcoming campaign after the Rays traded franchise icon Evan Longoria to the Giants earlier in the offseason. With a career .281 average and some modest pop, Duffy could provide decent value in the later rounds of deeper mixed and AL-only drafts if he's able to steer clear of the injury setbacks for the bulk of the 2018 campaign.
Duffy (heel) was reinstated from the disabled list Thursday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Duffy wound up missing the entire 2017 season while dealing with various setbacks that stemmed from offseason surgery on his left heel. He was able to spend some time on the team's instructional league team in September, and should be fully healthy by the time spring training rolls around.
Duffy (heel), who officially confirmed last Friday that he will not play before the end of the regular season, believes he'll be ready to go for the 2018 campaign, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. "The plan is looking toward instructional league," said Duffy, who began the season on the disabled list while trying to recover from Achilles surgery and later had a second surgery. "The goal is to not have any reservations going into Spring Training, and having as normal an offseason as possible." Duffy had come into spring training last March with high expectations following September 2016 heel surgery, as he'd figured on being ready to play by the middle of that month and serve as the team's everyday starting shortstop. However, issues started to crop up by late March and led to Duffy's recovery undergoing a series of fits and starts over the next several months. A late-June follow-up procedure that removed a calcium deposit from the heel appears to have been pivotal to finally eliminating the discomfort Duffy had persistently felt, and he's now set to test himself in both the instructional league and winter ball over the coming months.