Homer Bailey hurls six shutout innings subbing for suspended Johnny Cueto


Johnny Cueto’s seven-game suspension meant he couldn’t make his scheduled start yesterday, so the Reds activated Homer Bailey from the disabled list to take his place and he shut out the Marlins for six innings in a 2-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
Cincinnati is back alone in first place despite being swept by St. Louis last week and the Reds’ rotation is looking stronger than ever with Bailey healthy for the first time since mid-May, Edinson Volquez showing positive signs in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Cueto’s suspension causing him to miss just the one start.
Not only did Bailey toss six scoreless innings, reach 95 miles per hour with his fastball, and retire the final 10 batters he faced after missing nearly three months with a shoulder injury, he handed out zero walks for just the fourth time in 47 starts.
Dusty Baker told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that Bailey “threw the ball great” and added that it’s “a great sign for us to have fresh arms like Homer and Volquez down the stretch” because “when everybody else is a little worn, they’re just getting revved up.” They may not have any room for Aaron Harang once he’s ready to come off the DL.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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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.