Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that Tigers second baseman will be replacing teammate and DH Victor Martinez on the American League All-Star roster. Martinez has been battling soreness in his right side and back, and hasn’t played since July 4, though he has thus far avoided a trip to the disabled list.
Kinsler was considered by many to have been snubbed — even being left off of the pitching-heavy Final Vote — but all is right now. Kinsler, slashing .305/.339/.477 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI, is the third second baseman on the AL roster, joining Jose Altuve and starter Robinson Cano.
Martinez is having a renaissance season despite the injury, slashing .328/.391/.599 with 21 home runs and 55 RBI. The 35-year-old’s career-high in home runs is 25, set back in 2007.
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.