An attorney representing Royals pitcher Danny Duffy, who was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol in August, entered a not guilty plea on Duffy’s behalf Friday morning in Overland Park Municipal Court.
Duffy’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 1. He was cited around 8 p.m. Aug. 27 in the drive-thru lane of a Burger King restaurant after employees called police because they saw a vehicle stopped short of the window with a man inside slumped over the console between the driver’s and passenger’s seats.
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A 28-year-old left-hander, Duffy concluded his seventh season with the Royals in 2017, posting a 9-10 record with a 3.81 ERA in 24 starts. He signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension last January following the best season of his career in 2016. Known for his accessible public persona and quirky sense of humor, Duffy was expected to front the Royals' rotation for years.
Two days after being cited in Overland Park, Duffy apologized “for the distraction” at a news conference at Kauffman Stadium. He also asked Royals fans and observers to “let the facts shake out.”
“Please continue to have faith in me,” Duffy said. “Because I’m better than the distraction that is at hand. And I’m going to continue do great things for this city.”
The citation came one day after Duffy was placed on the disabled list with what the Royals called a pronator strain near his left elbow. He returned to the mound on Sept. 17 and made three starts during the final weeks of the season.
He underwent minor arthroscopic surgery in early October to remove loose bodies from the back of his elbow. The elbow cleanout — a procedure to eliminate loose cartilage and bone fragments that cause inflammation — will delay Duffy’s offseason workout plan by close to six weeks, according to the Royals. He is expected to be healthy for spring training.
For now, Duffy has not faced any public discipline or punishment from Major League Baseball. The Royals have stated that they wish to let the legal process play out.