Adrian Beltre went 2-for-3 with a double against Dan Haren last night, continuing his career-long dominance over one of the best starters in baseball.
Beltre has now faced Haren in a total of 56 plate appearances and he’s batted .460 with 10 extra-base hits and six walks for a ridiculous 1.278 OPS.
What makes that ownage especially remarkable is that Haren is a right-handed pitcher who usually shuts down right-handed hitters and Beltre is a right-handed hitter who typically fares much worse versus righties than lefties.
Haren has held all right-handed hitters not named Beltre to a .256 batting average and .699 OPS for his career, while Beltre has hit .269 with a .776 OPS versus all right-handed pitchers not named Haren. Yet put them together and … boom!
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.