On the disabled list since late August, Royals pitcher Danny Duffy is slated to return to the mound in Sunday’s series finale here at Progressive Field, Royals manager Ned Yost said Thursday afternoon.
The addition of Duffy will offer relief to a depleted starting rotation and a boost to a team seeking to stay afloat in the American League wild-card race. It also comes as the 28-year-old left-hander navigates the legal process following a citation for driving under the influence in Overland Park on Aug. 27
Duffy was scheduled to appear this Tuesday in Overland Park Municipal Court, but according to court records, that appearance has been rescheduled to 8 a.m. Oct. 20. Duffy will be represented by attorney Steven Sakoulas, according to court records.
The Royals will travel to Toronto for a three-game series after playing four times against the Indians. Duffy could become part of what would be a six-man rotation during the season’s final weeks.
Diagnosed with a “low-grade pronator strain” in late August, Duffy hinted earlier this week that the injury may require attention this offseason, perhaps in the form of a surgical procedure. But for the moment, he will pitch through discomfort that surfaced in late July and early August.
If all goes to plan, Duffy will be on a pitch count of close to 60 to 65 pitches on Sunday. He threw a side session on Thursday after working through a two-inning, simulated game on Monday. Yost said he was “anticipating” that Duffy would start on Sunday.
“He got after it good,” Yost said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and the next day.”
Duffy is not the only Royals starter battling arm issues. Right-hander Ian Kennedy missed a start Wednesday and was replaced by rookie Eric Skoglund in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Kennedy could return next week.
The Royals will have their final off day on Monday. Rookie starter Sam Gaviglio could open the series in Toronto on Tuesday, after Jakob Junis, Jason Vargas, Jason Hammel and Duffy pitch in Cleveland. The Royals could remain on a six-man rotation for the rest of the year.
Soria to return on Saturday
Royals reliever Joakim Soria could be activated as early as Saturday after having left the team earlier this week to return home to Arizona for the scheduled birth of a child on Thursday.
Yost said Soria was slated to travel to Cleveland on Saturday. He was not sure if he would be available to pitch that day.