For Kansas City Royals fans, optimism and hope have arrived, but they seem to be mildly stunted at the time being. With an assortment of lofty, unanswered questions looming over a team with an otherwise bright future, it’s difficult to be overly joyous as a fan. The offseason brings a whole new kind of game to the forefront of MLB – a high-stakes, 30-team bargaining free-for-all that could make or break any competitive team’s chances at the playoffs.
For the sake of reminding Royals fans of the optimism that this team’s future brings, we’re taking a look at an unerringly optimistic topic. Let’s momentarily forgo the trade talk and free agency rumors to ponder the future of freakishly talented lefty, Danny Duffy.
In his career, Duffy has a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts with the Royals. His average of 7.8 K/9 is remarkable, and the majority of his outings came while he was struggling with arm pain right before a needed Tommy John surgery. His return to the big leagues has been slow and steady, but 2014 will finally be the time for KC to let Duffy off the leash.
In limited playing time this year, Duffy simultaneously impressed and confounded. His command was lacking, leading to 14 walks in just 24.1 innings pitched, but some extraordinary stuff allowed him to sneak out of multiple situations with timely punch-outs. As soon as Duffy shows command over his fastball, he can immediately be top-notch. He’s Chris Sale in the making, with a fresh arm and even better stuff.
With a little more control, Duffy is destined to be a great starter – a surefire no. 2 guy and possibly an ace. That’s something that should keep any right-minded Royals fan excited throughout this tumultuous offseason.