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Duffy confident with changeup, eager for 2020

September 20, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- You may have noticed Royals left-hander Danny Duffy has been nothing short of superb in his last few outings. A simple adjustment has made the difference: Duffy has moved his starting position to the third-base side of the rubber, and that subtle change has made a huge difference

MINNEAPOLIS -- You may have noticed Royals left-hander Danny Duffy has been nothing short of superb in his last few outings.

A simple adjustment has made the difference: Duffy has moved his starting position to the third-base side of the rubber, and that subtle change has made a huge difference in his sequencing -- it has brought his changeup back into play. The suggestion on moving his starting position came from pitching coach Cal Eldred and bullpen coach Vance Wilson.

“Once I came off the [injured list], Cal and Vance made that change for me,” Duffy said, “and it’s made a world of difference. Really, all the credit goes to them. It has given my changeup more room to work. Just something that minor can make all the difference.”

In his last three starts, Duffy posted a 0.95 ERA over 19 innings. He has struck out 17 in that span and opponents are hitting just .127 against him.

The changeup has been the key. In 2018, Duffy threw his changeup almost 20 percent of the time. This season, that percentage dropped in half to 10 percent.

“I just wasn’t as confident in it,” Duffy said.

But with the move toward the third-base side of the rubber, Duffy has again found conviction in his changeup. Two starts ago against the Astros, Duffy got three strikeouts with the changeup. Against the A's on Wednesday, Duffy got seven outs on the changeup, including two strikeouts. He was able to use his changeup 26 times out of 103 pitches against Oakland, a season high, and the most he has used the pitch since last August.

“Moving over on the rubber has given the changeup more real estate now and hitters just can’t give up on it,” Duffy said. “A lot of dudes weren’t offering at it before. But now I can use it more. It’s in my back pocket now.

“It has the same action as it always has but it has more room to work.”

The adjustment has Duffy fired up about the possibilities going into 2020.

“I wish it was something I had figured out earlier,” Duffy said. “But going into the offseason, it’s something I can really look forward to going into 2020. It’s definitely something I can build on.”