Victor Martinez is out of the Tigers’ lineup for a fourth straight game stemming from the “pinch” in the 36-year-old’s surgically repaired knee that he felt Saturday. He also apparently has a sore back today.
Martinez actually played Sunday, but hasn’t started since then. The first three of those games came in an NL ballpark so there was no designated hitter spot for Martinez and he did make a pinch-hitting appearance, but the fact that he remains on the bench despite returning to AL rules today in Detroit is worrisome.
Yoenis Cespedes is in the DH spot today, with Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose both in the lineup.
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.