Left-hander Danny Duffy is headed to the 10-day disabled list with left elbow impingement and valgus extension overload, the Royals announced Saturday. Duffy will be eligible to return on September 5 barring any further complications. In a corresponding move, the Royals selected the contract of left-handed reliever Onelki Garcia from Triple-A Omaha and shifted center fielder Bubba Starling to the 60-day disabled list.
It’s a harsh blow to the Royals’ playoff chances, as the team entered Saturday’s competition just 1.5 games back of a wild card spot. Unless Duffy makes a quick recovery (never a guarantee with elbow issues), making a run at the postseason without their ace starter might prove an insurmountable hurdle. The lefty already missed 36 days of the 2017 season after rehabbing a left oblique strain, though this is the first sign of elbow trouble he’s had since 2013. He’s 8-8 through 21 starts with Kansas City and currently holds a career-best 3.1 fWAR, supplemented by a 3.78 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 131 innings.
In Duffy’s absence, the team will turn to left-hander Eric Skoglund for Sunday’s series finale against the Indians. The rookie starter is 1-1 in three starts with the Royals, and delivered six runs, five walks and eight strikeouts over his first 9 2/3 big league innings.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.