The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly interested in Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy. Duffy had a 3.81 ERA with the Royals last year.
Duffy, 28, is a former reliever who was turned into a starting pitcher in 2014 and had significant success, posting a 2.53 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 6.81 K/9 over 149.1 innings pitched.
He hasn’t been able to match that success since then, but has been a solid starting pitcher. He suffered an elbow injury last season that landed him on the DL for a bit, but generally injuries haven’t really been a concern for him.
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However, being that Duffy is a former reliever, stamina has been a common concern, as he’s never pitched more than 179.2 innings in a single season. That being said, he’s still able to pitch enough innings to be a useful member of a rotation.
Duffy was signed to a five-year extension last season worth $65 million. He’s owed $14 million next year, then $15.25 million over the next two years, and $15.5 million in his final year. That’s a lot of contract for the Baltimore Orioles to take on, should they choose to trade for him.
Duffy throws four pitches: a fastball that, last year, averaged around 93 MPH, a slider that averages around 83 MPH, a curveball that averages around 73 MPH, and a changeup that averages around 84 MPH.
One of the concerns about Duffy last year was his loss in fastball velocity. Since becoming a starter, Duffy’s fastball typically floated around 94-95 MPH on average, which made it a pretty deadly pitch.
But last season, his fastball dropped to around 93 MPH on average, making it less effective. As a result, Duffy relied on his slider and changeup a lot more than he has in the past, and had a reasonable amount of success, pitching to a 3.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and an 8.00 K/9 over 146.1 innings pitched.
The reduction in fastball velocity could easily be a result of the elbow injury he suffered last year, so it’s entirely possible it could go back up this season, though it is something to keep an eye on.
Duffy has shown to be a solid starting pitcher and is under contract for a good while, making him an intriguing trade candidate for the Baltimore Orioles. That being said, it’s a fairly large contract, and with the contracts the team doled out to Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, it’s not necessarily one they might want to take on.