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.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.