SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As expected, left-hander Danny Duffy will start for the Royals on Opening Day.Royals manager Ned Yost on Thursday named Duffy as the starting pitcher for the team's 2018 season opener against the White Sox. It will be Duffy's second straight year as Kansas City's Opening Day starter,
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As expected, left-hander Danny Duffy will start for the Royals on Opening Day.
Royals manager Ned Yost on Thursday named Duffy as the starting pitcher for the team's 2018 season opener against the White Sox. It will be Duffy's second straight year as Kansas City's Opening Day starter, but his first in front of the home crowd. The Royals will host Chicago at Kauffman Stadium on March 29 at 3:15 p.m. CT.
"It's awesome. It's my second one, and I'm really looking forward to it," Duffy said. "There are five dudes in there capable of it, if not more than me. But to be tabbed as the Opening Day starter is a huge honor.
"Playing in front of our fans is great. They bring a different dynamic. First one at home and hopefully the first of many."
Duffy's starts this spring have aligned him with starting on Opening Day, so the news came as little surprise.
"We had a lot of good candidates to do it," Yost said. "It could easily have been [Ian] Kennedy. But we just felt Danny has been throwing the ball well and has experience, and he's the right guy."
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Duffy is 1-1 with a 9.35 ERA through three Spring Training starts, though seven of his nine earned runs allowed came in his most recent outing Tuesday against the A's.
The 29-year-old left-hander went 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 146 1/3 innings last season, despite dealing with oblique and elbow injuries that limited him to 24 starts. Duffy missed more than a month after a right oblique strain sent him to the disabled list in late May, and was out for nearly another month after a left elbow impingement sidelined him in late August.
Last season, Duffy was excellent on Opening Day, pitching six innings of one-run ball against the Twins in Minnesota. He allowed only three hits and struck out eight.
Yost also said Thursday that Kennedy would follow Duffy and pitch the Royals' second game against the White Sox on March 31.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.