Danny Duffy, who last pitched for the Royals on May 13 of last season, will rejoin the rotation tonight after completing his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Duffy was off to a good start last season when he was shut down with elbow problems and before going under the knife the left-hander was a top-100 prospect who debuted at age 22. Now he’s 24 and will face the Twins in his return to the majors.
It’s unclear if the Royals plan to keep Duffy around for more than one start. For now he’s starting in place of Wade Davis, who’s away from the team following a death in the family, but Davis also has a 5.42 ERA in 21 starts overall this season and it’ll be tempting to stick with Duffy if he looks good tonight.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.