UPDATE: After being examined by the Royals’ team doctor Duffy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is the injury that requires Tommy John surgery. He’ll seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum first, but it looks like season-ending surgery for the promising left-hander. What a shame.
Danny Duffy exited yesterday’s start in the first inning with a sore elbow and the Royals left-hander is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today.
Duffy faced just three hitters before noticeably shaking his arm in discomfort, at which point manager Ned Yost and a trainer made a mound visit and removed him from the game.
Yost said afterward that he wasn’t going to take any changes with the 23-year-old Duffy, who also missed a start with elbow tightness three weeks ago.
Kansas City is very deep in young hitting talent, but losing Duffy would be a big blow to a pitching staff that still needs plenty of help. After a rough rookie season Duffy has thrown 28 innings with a 3.90 ERA and 28/18 K/BB ratio while showing off impressive fastball velocity.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.
Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.
The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.
Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.
Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.
Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.