Red Sox have differing views on when Cody Ross will return


Initial reports about Cody Ross’ fractured foot suggested he could miss two months, but the outfielder said yesterday that he already felt significantly better and now some members of the Red Sox are hoping he could make a much speedier recovery.

Or as manager Bobby Valentine put it to Alex Speier of “At worst case, it’s not as bad as we thought it was yesterday. At best case, it’s much better. At worst case, it seems like it’s a couple of weeks.”

That’s quite a change from a couple of months, and sure enough general manager Ben Cherington later tried to downplay talk of Ross returning that soon by explaining that “there’s a risk of it getting worse” if he rushes things.

Cherington did say that Ross could return “towards the early part” of a 6-8 week recovery timetable, but for now at least it sounds like Valentine was a tad optimistic.

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.