The first Spring Training workout dates, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads, has been released for all 30 of the Major League clubs.
Pitchers for every team except the Nationals and Dodgers report on either February 14 or 15. The Nats and Dodgers pitchers and catchers have to report by February 16. I can only assume that it’s because the Nats and Dodgers are old and they need more time because they all drive ten miles per hour under the speed limit.
The Dodgers and Rangers have the latest full-squad workout days too — February 21. I’ll think of a funny reason for that later. The first player who played for both of those teams that popped into my head is Milton Bradley and he’s not funny at all, so let’s just put a pin in that for now.
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.