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Royals’ Danny Duffy isn’t close to returning. Here’s how they could fill his spot

Ned Yost on Danny Duffy's elbow injury

KC Royals manager Ned Yost said an MRI revealed a "low grade pronator strain" in starting pitcher Danny Duffy's left forearm.
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KC Royals manager Ned Yost said an MRI revealed a "low grade pronator strain" in starting pitcher Danny Duffy's left forearm.

On Saturday afternoon, Royals starter Danny Duffy played catch at a distance of 60 feet here at Target Field. The session marked his latest step in his rehab from a pronator strain. He is not particularly close to returning from the disabled list.

Duffy, who is recovering from the muscle strain near his left elbow, is expected to play catch again on Monday in Detroit. He will likely need to stretch out close to 120 feet before stepping on a mound, manager Ned Yost said. His step-by-step return to the roster is still a few phases away.

“Whenever he gets ready,” Yost said.

Duffy has remained with the team since being cited last Sunday for driving under the influence in Overland Park. To this point, the Royals have not publicly discussed shutting the left-hander down for the season. But the Royals will need to find another starter for Thursday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium, when Duffy’s turn in the rotation comes up again. Right-hander Sam Gaviglio, recently claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners, is positioned as an option, Yost said.

Left-hander Onelki Garcia was pummeled for four runs while recording just one out in a 17-0 loss on Saturday.

Gaviglio, 27, posted a 4.62 ERA in 12 appearances, including 11 starts, for the Seattle Mariners this season. He also recorded a 3.88 ERA in 13 starts for Class AAA Tacoma. A former fifth-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, Gaviglio was traded to Seattle in exchange for utilityman Ty Kelly after the 2014 season.

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