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Royals tab Duffy for Opening Day start

March 25, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost finally made official Saturday what everyone in Royals camp already knew -- that left-hander Danny Duffy would be his Opening Day starter on April 3 in Minnesota."With what Danny did last year and this spring, we feel he has earned this," Yost said.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost finally made official Saturday what everyone in Royals camp already knew -- that left-hander Danny Duffy would be his Opening Day starter on April 3 in Minnesota.
"With what Danny did last year and this spring, we feel he has earned this," Yost said. "We knew this was the direction we were going to go weeks before we even showed up at Spring Training."
It has been quite a whirlwind few days for Duffy, who returned from the World Baseball Classic on Friday donning a gold medal around his neck.

"This week hasn't sucked, man," Duffy said, smiling. "Been a lot of fun.
"Obviously, it means a lot to get this start. I've worked really hard to get to this point. I'm really honored. There's five of us capable of doing this, and the fact that they chose me means a lot. Very humbled by it."
Duffy elevated his game to ace status last season. He started the season in the bullpen before becoming the Royals' best starter. He finished 12-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 42 appearances (26 starts).
"Like I said, he's earned this," Yost said. "We've watched Danny grow and mature to this level."
Yost informed Duffy on Friday that he had been chosen to start Opening Day.
"He messed with me at first and said, 'Hey, you be ready for the third game in Minnesota, OK? We're going with [Jason] Hammel on Opening Day,'" Duffy said. "Then he told me [the truth].
"It's a huge honor. I've got to go out and make 35 starts anyway, but that they chose me for Opening Day is a huge honor. I'm looking forward to getting out there to Minnesota."
Yost also set his rotation: Duffy will be followed by Ian Kennedy, Hammel, Jason Vargas and Nathan Karns.
Kennedy will pitch in Minnesota in Game 2, then pitch the home opener April 10 against the A's.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.