We learned earlier this week that East Carolina University right-hander Jeff Hoffman will undergo Tommy John surgery and now another potential top-10 pick will join him.
According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, UNLV pitcher Erick Fedde also needs Tommy John surgery. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, the lanky right-hander posted a 1.76 ERA and 82/21 K/BB ratio over 77 innings this spring. Fitt writes that Fedde has attracted attention from MLB teams due to “a fastball that has reached 97, a quality slider and changeup, a tall, athletic frame and an advanced ability to pound the strike zone.”
Similar to the Hoffman situation, just because Fedde needs Tommy John surgery doesn’t mean that he will not be selected in the early rounds. Teams with multiple early picks (and a larger amount of draft pool money) might be more willing to take the gamble. They will be interesting names to watch in next month’s First-Year Player Draft.
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.