Durable Duffy making Rookie of the Year case
SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants' list of injuries piles up near the conclusion of Major League Baseball's regular season, manager Bruce Bochy has had one player he can count on: third baseman Matt Duffy.
Duffy, who began the year on San Francisco's bench in favor of ex-Giant Casey McGehee, took over the starting job at third base in mid-May and not once has peered into the rear-view mirror.
The 24-year-old has surpassed expectations with his performance on the field and has been one of the few Giants who has managed to stay healthy to this point in the season.
"This kid hasn't had a break," Bochy said. "It shows you how critical it is to have those type of guys that are durable. ... He's been a savior for the fact that I can pencil his name in there every day."
With the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon taking the day off Saturday, Duffy became the National League's active leader in consecutive games played with 98 straight appearances dating back to May 24.
"We're banged up," Duffy said. "I've got to be out there every day, and I understand. I'm not saying I wouldn't benefit from a day off, but I think everybody at this point would benefit from a day off. I know we're scratching and clawing here, and every game, every inning is important. I want to be out there if I can, and right now, I absolutely feel like I can."
Duffy's numbers at the plate are equally impressive. He entered Saturday leading all rookies with 146 hits and a .300 batting average (minimum 100 at-bats) and is second with 68 RBIs, behind the Cubs' Kris Bryant.
Bryant, meanwhile, has gained much of the national attention regarding the National League Rookie of the Year race, largely in part to his 24 home runs and 90 RBIs.
But in the thick of the race for the NL's best first-year player, Duffy's dependability should not be overlooked, Bochy said.
"He's had a great year," Bochy said of his third baseman. "He's going against [Bryant] who's really having a big year, too, but he's got to be in that mix with the year he's [had]. The numbers speak for themselves, and the fact that he's been so durable."
With the rest of the Giants' lineup ceding to the injury bug, Bochy said he's also been impressed by the energy and consistency Duffy brings to the team.
"The consistency is what's really been impressive," Bochy said. "Every day he brings something. ... I think it's a credit to the type of shape he's in but also the player that he is."