Phil Hughes pushed back due to back spasms


From Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News comes word that Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes has been scratched from his scheduled Monday start against the Twins due to back spams.

Hughes’ back locked up on him Friday after he threw a routine bullpen session in Toronto. He rested all day Saturday and will try to play catch before Sunday’s series finale with the Blue Jays. If that workout goes well, the 25-year-old should be cleared to take the mound Tuesday for the opening of a big four-game series against the surging Rays.

A.J. Burnett will start Monday’s makeup game with Minnesota in Hughes’ place.

Hughes has registered a 6.00 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 45/24 K/BB ratio through 72 innings this season.

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.