Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik’s contract is up after this season, but Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’s agreed to a one-year extension. However, when asked about the report Mariners president Chuck Armstrong declined to comment.
Seattle went 85-77 in Zduriencik’s first season as GM in 2009, but since then the Mariners have gone 260-350 (.426) while finishing below .500 every year. This season they’re 57-67, which is a 75-87 pace that would equal last year’s record.
Also of note is that manager Eric Wedge’s contract ends after this season as well, so if ownership doesn’t plan to bring him back for 2014 that could explain why they’re holding off on the Zduriencik announcement.
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.