Red Sox sign former ninth overall pick Karsten Whitson


Four years after being selected ninth overall in the 2010 draft by the Padres, Karsten Whitson is a member of the Red Sox organization, according to WEEI’s Alex Speier.  Whitson signed for $100,000, the most the Red Sox could give him as an 11th-round pick without cutting into their allotted draft pool.

After being drafted out of high school, Whitson turned down $2.1 million deal with the Padres in order to attend the University of Florida, which is where his parents went to school. He starred right away with the Gators, going 8-1 with a 2.40 ERA as a freshman. However, he started battling shoulder problems as a sophomore and missed his entire junior season after surgery, causing him to redshirt.

This year, Whitson had a 3.86 ERA and a 21/23 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings, but he was back throwing in the mid-90s at the end of the year, giving him something to work with as he enters the pros. He’s a lottery ticket for the Red Sox, but one that could pay off.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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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.