Royals planned to use Danny Duffy in the playoff rotation, but he was hurt

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Danny Duffy was a non-factor for the Royals in the playoffs after throwing 149 innings with a 2.53 ERA during the regular season and now we know why: He was hurt.

Royals manager Ned Yost revealed to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that Duffy suffered a stress reaction in his rib cage during the regular season finale.

Yost apparently planned to start Duffy in Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Angels–“obviously, he definitely would have been one of our starters”–but the Royals’ training staff determined he could only be used for 2-3 innings at a time given the injury.

So instead Jason Vargas got the Game 1 assignment and then stayed in the rotation as the Royals’ fourth starter all postseason. Yost and the Royals kept Duffy’s status a secret because they wanted to potentially use him as an impact reliever, but in the rare times he took the mound the 25-year-old left-hander appeared to be in obvious discomfort.