Royals swap out Danny Duffy for Jeremy Guthrie in rotation

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Kansas City having the AL Central all but wrapped up and sitting atop the American League with an 85-60 record allows the Royals to make decisions with an eye turned toward the playoffs.

With that in mind manager Ned Yost has shifted left-hander Danny Duffy to the bullpen, moved right-hander Jeremy Guthrie back into the rotation, and announced that right-hander Kris Medlen has the inside track on the No. 4 starter gig in the postseason.

Duffy is a much better pitcher than Guthrie, but he’s struggled of late and has more of a chance to help the Royals as a reliever in the playoffs. Guthrie can eat some innings as a starter down the stretch and then (presumably) watch from the bench in October.

Medlen has made just five starts since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery and his 16/6 K/BB ratio in 29.1 innings as a starter aren’t very impressive, but Yost has the most confidence in him behind the rotation-leading trio of Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Yordano Ventura.