Matt Moore “back to normal” after abdominal strain

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Rays left-hander Matt Moore was sidelined for over a week due to an abdominal strain that he suffered during a fielding drill. But that’s all in the past now.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Moore tossed a free and easy bullpen session on Saturday in Rays camp and told reporters shortly after the workout that he felt “real good.”

“It was like back to normal,” added the 22-year-old.

Moore is a near-lock for a starting rotation spot this season in Tampa Bay after registering a dominant 1.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio across 155 innings last year between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He eventually climbed his way to the major leagues in September and was even trusted with a start in the ALDS against the Rangers, in which he hurled seven scoreless frames.

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.