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Royals place Danny Duffy on 10-day disabled list with left elbow impingement

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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.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.