Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy has never been hindered by talent. The 29-year old and former third-round pick in 2007 has all the potential to be a top rotational player in the MLB. The problem has been staying on the mound and that’s been consistent throughout his seven-year career in the majors.
Duffy’s injury concerns started early in his professional career when he underwent Tommy John Surgery after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Duffy was forced to miss an extended period of time recovering and rehabilitating.
From there, other nagging injuries have made Duffy a regular on and off the disabled list. The 2016 season proved to be his best and Duffy finished with a 12-3 record, solidifying himself as the ace in the rotation. He earned a 5-year, $65 million contract but injuries continued to take a toll last season. Duffy was limited to just 24 starts in 2017 due to a Grade 1 oblique strain and left elbow impingement. Yet even with these setbacks, Duffy still finished the season healthy with a 9-10 record, posting a 3.81 ERA.
Since their miraculous World Series win in 2015, the Royals have endured struggles and missed the playoffs the last two seasons. Heading into a new year, it’s a clean slate for Duffy on and off the field. He was arrested and charged with DUI in late August of 2017 after passing out in the drive-thru of a Burger King. While he’s not expected to receive a suspension or punishment, Duffy is walking on thin ice with the MLB and Royals organization.
Duffy is looking to put his extensive injury history and any previous problems in the past. He’ll be the Royals’ No. 1 pitcher and probable Opening Day starter. In terms of fantasy production, there’s always risk involved with injury-riddled players. Having said that, you could find Duffy for a bargain in your upcoming fantasy draft. Teams will be hesitant to draft Duffy because of the issues mentioned above but his potential is too much to pass up.
If Duffy can get back to the 40-game, 180-inning threshold we saw during the 2016 season, he’ll provide great value to your fantasy team this season. A 10+ win season is easily attainable if Duffy is provided the starts.