Though he’s probably a better option than some of the guys the Royals and Mets will trot out to the mound this season, Greg Maddux has apparently decided that his retirement is going to stick. Instead, he’s going to go work for the Cubs as a special assistant to Jim Hendry.
Maddux has long been thought of as a guy who could be brilliant a pitching coach. Unlike a lot of superstars who can’t readily translate what allows them to perform their craft to mere mortals, Maddux has a reputation as being an excellent teacher in the dugout. Young pitchers in San Diego spoke particularly highly of his counsel.
One wonders if this your standard-issue spring training roving instructor assignment for Maddux or if he’s trying coaching on for size and will follow his brother into the biz one day himself.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.