Royals

Royals keep Heath Fillmyer in rotation as Danny Duffy’s rehab takes another step

Royals’ Heath Fillmyer hit speed bump in fifth against White Sox

Royals starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer allowed three runs on five hits and one walk in five innings against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2019. The Royals took a one-run lead after Fillmyer was taken out, but the White Sox rallied to win.
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Royals starting pitcher Heath Fillmyer allowed three runs on five hits and one walk in five innings against the Chicago White Sox on April 15, 2019. The Royals took a one-run lead after Fillmyer was taken out, but the White Sox rallied to win.

Heath Fillmyer will make his third start on Saturday for the Royals, manager Ned Yost said on Wednesday.

The Royals had listed the Saturday starter as TBA, though Fillmyer has made each of the two starts since the club shifted to a five-man rotation. With extra off-days early in the season, the team didn’t need a fifth starter in order to keep its rotation on regular rest until April 10.

Fillmyer had a rough first start against the powerhouse Seattle Mariners lineup (five runs in three innings), but he looked strong against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. He pitched four scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fifth after a pair of replay reviews overturned double plays.

Yost described that start against Chicago as a good outing that Fillmyer could build off, and he thought Fillmyer was “on the attack.”

The other bit of pitching news prior to Wednesday’s game was that veteran left-hander Danny Duffy’s next outing will be on a rehab assignment as he builds towards a return to the major-league club after shoulder soreness in spring training.

Yost said earlier in the week that Duffy’s next outing is scheduled for five innings at 75 to 80 pitches on Saturday, but where he would throw was not clear. On Wednesday, Yost said Duffy’s next outing would come with the team’s Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

With Duffy apparently getting closer to returning to the majors and staying stretched out as a starter, the Royals may have to make roster decisions in the near future.

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Merrifield: Whit Merrifield is the last everyday starter to get a day off during the team’s stretch of 19 straight games without an off-day. Merrifield had been playing through a groin ailment as of last week, and that issue was the reason Merrifield had been playing exclusively on the infield this week. However, Wednesday’s off day was routine.

Maldonado: Starting catcher Martin Maldonado returned to the lineup after having been pulled from the original lineup on Tuesday night because of illness.

Wednesday’s lineup

1. Adalberto Mondesi, ss

2. Alex Gordon, lf

3. Hunter Dozier, 3b

4. Ryan O’Hearn, 1b

5. Jorge Soler, rf

6. Lucas Duda, dh

7. Chris Owings, 2b

8. Martin Maldonado, c

9. Billy Hamilton, cf

Starting pitcher: Brad Keller (rh, 2-1, 2.45)

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.
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