Danny Duffy will make his second start of the season on Thursday evening in Seattle. From there, Royals manager Ned Yost has said he will not require a fifth starter again until May 17, thanks to an off day next Monday.
When the team placed Bruce Chen on the disabled list, a designation caused by a bulging disc in his back, Yost indicated the club hoped to have Chen back around the 17th. But Chen is still days away from resuming meaningful baseball activity.
“It’s safe to assume that Duff is a part of this rotation for the immediate future,” Moore said on Tuesday afternoon, and indicated if Duffy caught fire he would remain there.
Duffy (1-2, 2.19 ERA) threw four innings of one-run baseball against Detroit on Saturday. He walked four. The Tigers coaxed 75 pitches out of him, which forced Yost to turn to his beleaguered bullpen in a loss. Duffy had made six appearance out of the bullpen to start the season.
Meanwhile, Chen (1-2, 7.45 ERA) has been limited to playing catch. He wants to keep his arm loose. During home games, he cannot watch from the bench, because the position stresses his back. Instead, he floats in the team’s indoor pool system and watches on a television.
Chen would likely require a rehabilitation start in the minors before he can return.
“We’re still unsure about Bruce’s timeline at this point,” Moore said. “He’s not throwing a baseball competitively right now. And every day a pitcher doesn’t, it gets to a point in time where you’ve got to build him back up. And those things take time.”