Danny Duffy completed a bullpen session on Saturday morning and expects to leave the Royals next week for a minor-league rehabilitation assignment to rebuild strength in his left shoulder.
Duffy (2-3, 5.87 ERA) has not pitched since May 16. He received a cortisone shot on May 22 to quell inflammation in his shoulder. The team placed him on the 15-day disabled list when his arm did not respond immediately to the treatment.
The Royals are handling Duffy’s recovery at a slow pace. The team does not have an opening in its rotation now. Duffy was in danger of losing his starting role after allowing 14 runs in his last three starts.
Duffy reconfigured his delivery during a throwing session earlier this week. He tested it during three innings in a simulated game on Thursday. Pitching coach Dave Eiland felt the tweak was productive, as Duffy is now bringing his hands above his head before he throws in order to maintain balance on the mound.
Kris Medlen, who also threw three simulated innings on Thursday, is expected to return to Arizona next week. He will continue his throwing program at the team’s temporary home at Papago Park as he returns from his second Tommy John surgery.
Manager Ned Yost indicated Medlen should be ready to aid the Royals by the All Star break. Medlen could help as either a starter or a reliever. His role will be determined by the team’s needs, team officials say.