Not so long ago Manny Machado was on a record-setting doubles pace, hitting 38 in 83 games through the end of June to put him in the mix to potentially top Earl Webb’s longstanding record of 67 in 1931.
And then Machado stopped hitting doubles.
He has just one double in 20 games this month, including 15 consecutive games without a double. During that double-less streak he’s also hit just .219 with a .575 OPS overall, so not making a run at Webb’s record is secondary to Machado simply showing he’s human at age 21.
Machado still leads baseball with 39 doubles, but he’s dropped into a tie for 21st place on the all-time list through 103 team games. Webb’s record is safe.
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.