Royals

KC Royals pitchers Greg Holland, Danny Duffy on the mend

Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland.
Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland. The Kansas City Star

News was encouraging Thursday for Royals pitchers with wounded wings.

Left-handed starter Danny Duffy and right-handed closer Greg Holland are closer to returning to action. Holland, who has been dealing with tightness in his right triceps, was possibly ready to go Thursday night against the Boston Red Sox in the opener of the Royals’ final home stand.

“Two days ago he felt much, much better,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He didn’t feel any tightness on his fastball and just a tinge of it on his slider.

“(Wednesday), he didn’t feel it at all, and my mind-set was get him to where he didn’t feel anything and give him another day.”

Holland played catch before Thursday’s game, and if he felt good, Yost had said Holland would be available to pitch.

Holland hasn’t pitched since the final game of the previous home stand. He collected his 42nd save on Sept. 3 against the Rangers.

Duffy threw one pitch Saturday against the Yankees before leaving the game because of what was diagnosed as rotator cuff inflammation.

He hasn’t thrown a ball since, but he said Thursday he was making progress toward a return.

“Everything is really encouraging,” Duffy said. “It doesn’t feel abnormal. I can lift my arm with a full range of motion.”

Duffy, who is 8-11 with a 2.42 ERA that is best among Royals starters, missed Thursday’s start.

Liam Hendriks, acquired from the Blue Jays in a trade for Danny Valencia, took over for Duffy in New York and also got the start Thursday.

In the Royals’ current rotation, Duffy’s next start would be Tuesday against the White Sox.

“He’s feeling good, much better,” Yost said. “I don’t know if he’ll miss one more start. Let’s see where he’s at.”

Duffy said he’d rather his return be sooner than later.

“It’s not up to me,” Duffy said. “As the same time, I’m not going to baby it.

“It’s go time. I’m looking forward to getting out there and helping the team.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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