First-time manager Brad Ausmus’ coaching staff will include Omar Vizquel, who’s joining the Tigers as a first base coach.
Vizquel immediately went into coaching following 24 seasons in the majors, spending this year as a roving minor league infield instructor for the Angels. Now he joins Ausmus’ staff, which includes veteran bench coach Gene Lamont, who’s a holdover from Jim Leyland’s regime.
Vizquel debuted in 1989 and played 24 seasons and Ausmus debuted in 1993 and played 18 seasons, but somehow they managed to never be teammates. And now that Vizquel is on a big-league coach staff at age 46, it seems like only a matter of time before he becomes a manager.
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.