The K Zone

June 16, 2013

Saturday in the minors: Duffy says 'I feel like it's just about there'

The K Zone

Andy McCullough blogs about the Royals and baseball

Left-hander Danny Duffy’s final line may not look great, but he was happy with how things went Saturday in his rehabilitation start for Class AAA Omaha in its 8-7 loss at Iowa.

Duffy, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, gave up two runs on four hits in three innings with three walks and five strikeouts. He hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and allowed a home run.

I emailed some questions for Duffy to Iowa’s director of communications, Scott Sailor (a long-time friend), and here’s what Duffy had to say about the game and the progress he’s made.

“Tonight was extremely encouraging for me,” Duffy said. “I feel like it’s just about there.”

Duffy said his fastball reached between 92 and 96 mph.

“My change-up needs a little bit of work but everything else I’m putting where I want to put it,” Duffy said.

Duffy, who threw 37 of his 68 pitches for strikes, made his second start for the Storm Chasers after starting three games for Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

“I’m figuring it out every day more and more,” Duffy said. “(My) ‘feel’ is really coming back. I’m able to locate a lot better. It’s just a matter of time.”

When might he return to the Royals?

“(The Royals) tell me to keep it one pitch at a time, one day at a time,” Duffy said. “They said once I get my feel back, I’ll be back.”

As for the game, the Storm Chasers took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but the I-Cubs scored six times against Everett Teaford and Louis Coleman. The big blast was a two-out grand slam by Donnie Murphy off Coleman.

Omaha got three runs back in the ninth as Max Ramirez hit a two-run double and pinch-runner Chase Lambin scored on a single by Willy Taveras. Taveras then stole second, but Adam Moore struck out and Quintin Berry grounded out to end the game.

Moore had a two-run homer in the game and a double. Irving Falu had three hits, while Jarrod Dyson (on a rehab stint as his high ankle sprain heals) went one for five and scored a run.

Earlier on Saturday, the teams completed a suspended game from Friday night. Iowa scored four in the sixth inning and won 9-5.

Ramirez had two hits and Brett Hayes added two RBIs. Michael Mariot (two innings, four runs) took the loss.

Class AA Northwest Arkansas

The Naturals split a doubleheader with Springfield, losing the opener 8-2, but winning the nightcap 6-1.

The second game was a makeup of a May 3 game. The Naturals and Cardinals made up two games in the series and played a rare six-game series, which they split.

In Saturday’s nightcap, Edwin Carl pitched four shutout innings, allowing two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Scott Alexander got the win, despite allowing one run in his one inning of work.

Catcher Manny Pina had a solo homer, a double and three RBIs, while Matt Fields hit his 16th homer of the season.

In the opener, Andy Ferguson gave up three runs on four hits in five innings and took the loss. Reliever Noel Arguelles allowed five runs on six hits in two innings and his ERA climbed to 6.67.

In his last four games, which includes one start, Arguelles has allowed 13 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings (10.97 ERA).

High-A Wilmington

Left-hander Sam Selman, the Royals’ second-round pick in 2012, gave up two runs (one earned) in six innings as the Blue Rocks beat Winston-Salem 3-2.

Selman, 5-5, walked four but struck out five as his ERA dropped to 4.79. He also hit a batter.

Wilmington got all of its runs via the long ball. First baseman Dennis Raben hit a solo homer in the second and third baseman Daniel Mateo hit a two-run shot in the third.

Low-A Lexington

Starter Daniel Stumpf gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings and the Legends lost 6-1 to Asheville.

Stumpf, 4-5, gave up 10 hits, walked three and struck out four.

Shortstop Raul Mondesi had two hits for the Legends, while 2011 first-round pick Bubba Starling was zero for three.

Starling, whose average dropped to .194, is hitless in his last 17 at-bats since hitting a home run on June 10. However, Starling has drawn five walks in that span.

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