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Notes: Duffy's velo up; Mondesi nears debut

@FlannyMLB
March 1, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy’s spring debut went better than even he expected. Duffy, projected to be the Royals’ No. 2 starter, threw two scoreless innings, gave up three singles and a walk, and struck out three against the A’s on Sunday at Surprise Stadium. The Royals lost,

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy’s spring debut went better than even he expected.

Duffy, projected to be the Royals’ No. 2 starter, threw two scoreless innings, gave up three singles and a walk, and struck out three against the A’s on Sunday at Surprise Stadium. The Royals lost, 10-6.

What stood out the most was Duffy’s slider, which throughout his career has sat around 82-84 mph. On Sunday against the A’s at Surprise Stadium that slider ticked up to 87 mph.

“I worked on it a lot this offseason, trying to figure out ways to do something a little different with it,” Duffy said. “Nothing crazy, but definitely trying to get more consistent with it in terms of locating it.”

The added velocity made the slider resemble a cutter. Duffy said that wasn’t intentional, but he likes it.

“I didn’t have a [radar] gun on me at home,” Duffy said, “so I didn’t know what the [velocity] would be. But that’s nice.”

Duffy, who told MLB.com earlier this week that he thought his velo might tick up, as well, this season, from 92-93 last season, sat at 93 mph Sunday. That was a positive sign considering Duffy hasn’t really built up yet this spring.

“I’m really pleased with the way I feel,” Duffy said. “There were times the last few years where I didn’t feel that great coming into camp. This time is better.”

Mondesi getting close

Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, rehabbing from shoulder surgery last fall, saw his first live action Saturday in an intrasquad game.

"It was just about getting him used to timing live pitching/batted balls," manager Mike Matheny said. "I told him if a ball comes at you, let it go through your legs. Just stand there. Of course he couldn't do that."

Matheny said there is no concrete date for Mondesi to see his first Cactus League action, but it could come this week.

Singer’s first rough outing

Right-hander Brady Singer, the Royals’ No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, had his first shaky outing.

Singer gave up three hits, three walks and three runs in two-thirds of an inning. He had not been nicked for a run in his two previous appearances.

“Definitely just one of those days you’re going to have in baseball,” Singer said. “The command obviously was off. But I felt like I competed out there. I’m healthy, but just one of those days.

“The fastball, I couldn’t locate it too well. I felt like my slider was still sharp.”

Up next

The Royals will have their first team off-day on Monday. They will return to action on Tuesday night for their first night game of the spring against the D-backs at 7:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. Right-hander Jakob Junis, slated to become the No. 3 starter, will go for the Royals.

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