Duffy (heel) will join the Rays' instructional league team Thursday and is scheduled to play his first game Monday in Bradenton, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Duffy will thus take his first step toward eventually stepping on a major-league field next spring after missing all of the 2017 campaign. Following his instructional league tenure, he's scheduled to also put in time in winter ball, with both stints intended to thoroughly prepare him to participate in spring training without restrictions.
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.
Duffy (heel) took ground balls and batting practice Monday afternoon, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "A good sign," manager Kevin Cash said. "He looked the part. Didn't see any restrictions." There is no longer hope for Duffy taking the field this season, so Cash's statement is in reference to the shortstop building some momentum heading into the offseason. The 26-year-old is scheduled to play in both instructional league and winter ball during the next few months in the hopes of preparing for what the team and Duffy hope is a spring training without restrictions in 2018.
Duffy (heel) is performing limited baseball activities but doesn't have a timetable for a return to game action, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The shortstop is starting to run out of time to log some games at the major-league level in 2017, as he's still unable to return to the minor-league rehab assignment he had to abandon back in mid-May. Duffy underwent a procedure on June 23 that removed a calcium deposit from his surgically repaired heel, and while that appeared to relieve a great deal of his discomfort, he's apparently not yet comfortable enough to test himself in game conditions.
Duffy (heel) is expected to resume baseball activities when the Rays return from their current road trip on July 21, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. It would be a significant development for the oft-injured infielder, whose recovery has been a series of fits and starts. Duffy underwent a procedure on June 23 that removed a calcium deposit from his injured heel and was expected to potentially eliminate the persistent discomfort he'd been experiencing; given the latest development, it appears that the surgery may have been pivotal to getting Duffy's rehab back on the right track.