KANSAS CITY -- MLB.com chatted with Royals left-hander Danny Duffy recently on his future with the Royals, his view on the Alex Gordon signing and the team's desire to repeat as World Series champions, among other things.Q: As you enter the 2016 season, are you preparing to be a starter
KANSAS CITY -- MLB.com chatted with Royals left-hander Danny Duffy recently on his future with the Royals, his view on the Alex Gordon signing and the team's desire to repeat as World Series champions, among other things.
Q: As you enter the 2016 season, are you preparing to be a starter or a bullpen guy?
Duffy: I'm preparing to be a starter. I've been told by a few people to enter the season as if I'm going to be a starter, so that is my mindset right now. I'm comfortable in the bullpen, for sure. But I still think I can be effective as a starter and contribute that way. I know my fastball command was shaky at times last year, but I just need to get that back and be confident in my abilities. I know I can help this team win as a starter. I've had some really good stretches as a starter the last two years, and I just need to keep that up over a longer period of time.
Q: After you were sent to the bullpen last season, you were really phenomenal (0.00 ERA in six appearances). What made the transition so easy?
Duffy: It was just preparation. I felt like I was really prepared for the role. I was ready for the challenge. I listened a lot to Wade Davis and Ryan Madson on how to go about that role, and they really taught me a lot about making every pitch count out of the bullpen. It's really an individual battle with each hitter out of the bullpen. And those guys really helped teach me how to approach it. They're the best, so it was easy to listen.
Q: What's the biggest difference between being a starter and a bullpen guy? And can you transition your success out of the bullpen back to your role as a starter, the way Zack Greinke did here a few years back?
Duffy: I think so. You do have to pace yourself more as a starter. I think I'm capable of doing that. I'm not saying that the bullpen is easier -- it's just a different animal. You attack more for a shorter time. But there are some things to learn about that in terms of being a starter, too, like maybe attacking more. You have to think more in terms of going six or seven innings but you can still be more aggressive, the way you would be out of the bullpen.
Q: You guys have won back-to-back pennants and now a world championship. Is there a sense that everyone wants to defend the title now?
Duffy: Oh, definitely. We want the challenge of that and look forward to it. It was pretty cool to be American League champs two years ago, but it's definitely a tick cooler to be world champs now. We have the opportunity to defend it now. I don't think there's a dude in that locker room who doesn't want to win it all again. There's no one who is going to be complacent. I was just talking to (Eric Hosmer) the other day, and we were talking about how we wanted to get back to the World Series and win it again just because of what a great experience it was. I think you'll see us come back just as hungry as ever.
Q: When you heard the news of the Alex Gordon signing, what was your immediate reaction?
Duffy: Oh, man, I was so stoked. It was so awesome. I didn't know if something was going to get done, but knowing Gordo, I knew there was a chance. It's so great to have him back. He means so much to this team. I bet there are about a gazillion fans in the Midwest who are pretty happy right now.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.