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Royals Q and A: Duffy to throw from mound today

Updated: 2013-02-13T00:23:11Z

By BOB DUTTON

The Kansas City Star

— The Royals got a late on-field start Tuesday when pitchers and catchers took part in their first official workout.

Stretching and conditioning normally starts at 10 a.m., but the Royals weren’t scheduled to hit the field until 11:30 a.m. because of routine physical examinations.

The day’s anticipated highlight, reported Monday, is Danny Duffy’s first scheduled mound session since leaving a May 13 game in Chicago because of a sore elbow. He was subsequently diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which led to Tommy John surgery.

Plans called for Duffy to throw 15-to-20 pitches – all straight fastballs at something less than full power. He remains on schedule to return to full duty in July.

Keep those questions coming on twitter at @Royals_Report. Here’s today’s exchange:

@kzeh62155: Do you know what it is about elbow/shoulder surgery that allows pitchers to return healthy, and sometimes as better pitchers?

A doctor or trainer can, obviously, provide a better answer but, generally, the surgery repairs something that has been injured for a while.

For example, a player undergoing Tommy John surgery seldom snapped that ligament in one throw. It had been weakened or fraying for a while. The replacement ligament is much stronger.

@audra_marvin: Love these updates but want more pictures with them!

Well, you’re in luck. The galaxy’s best baseball photographer, John Sleezer, rolled into town Monday night. His work will be all over The Star’s website and print editions for the next few weeks.

@AZ_Highlander: Ima new resident to Phoenix area. Are there restrictions to fans going to watch camp workouts? Never been want to go.

Can only speak for the Royals’ setup in Surprise. There are some areas that are fenced off, but you can get very close to the action. Admission is free, and there’s no parking charges. It’s a must experience for a baseball fan.

@J_Koll: Other than you, who are some good follows for getting up to date @Royals Spring Training coverage?

What’s next? You going to ask your wife/girlfriend if you can date her sister?

@KCLoyal: If Brett Eibner fails to impress, yet again this upcoming season, will the #kcroyals ask him to head back to the mound?

I’ve got to assume that’s an option at some point. No question, it’s a key year for Eibner, who was the club’s second-round pick in 2010.

@thillsman: Are pitchers in batting practice? Getting ready for those NL games?

There’s been no official batting practice yet, although the catchers will start today. (Yes, some guys have been hitting in cages and taking some informal swings on practice fields.) I’ll check, but I doubt pitchers will do any hitting before late March.

@artboyryan: What is the updated status of John Lamb and Danny Duffy? Will either be able help the Royals this season?

Had an item in this morning’s paper about how Duffy will get on a mound today for the first time since leaving that May 13 game in Chicago because of an elbow injury. Just 15-20 throws, but it’s a major step. The target is a July return.

Lamb has been cleared for full workouts and is likely to open the season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

@ericgeschwind: shouldn’t he be pitching for Panama?

You’re talking about lefty Bruce Chen, a native Panamanian, wanting to pitch for China in the World Baseball Classic. He has pitched for Panama in previous tournaments, but it got eliminated from this year’s event in preliminary rounds.

Chen hopes to pitch for China to honor great grandparents, who sent his grandparents to Panama in hopes that they could have a better life. Chen is still waiting to learn whether the WBC committee will certify his qualifications to play for China.

@KCstreck87: maybe u can answer this, y do guys coming off tommy john throw fastballs first? (Sherrill’s bullpen sessions in ST)

Fastball is probably a generous description. Guys just throw the ball straight as a first step to limit strain and torque on the arm. No breaking balls, which includes cut fastballs and split-finger fastballs.

@85royal: Adam Moore was once a prospect. Overall decline or short on a tool or two?

Some guys click late but, for now, Moore is generally viewed as a potential big-league backup or as organizational depth on a minor-league club. Right now, he appears ticketed for Class AAA Omaha.

To reach Bob Dutton, send email to bdutton@kcstar.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.

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