Vahe Gregorian

Gregorian Chants: Royals should give Danny Duffy another shot ... and could Chiefs sell in St. Louis?

With other options teetering, perhaps the time has come to give starter-turned-reliever Danny Duffy another crack at the Royals’ rotation.
With other options teetering, perhaps the time has come to give starter-turned-reliever Danny Duffy another crack at the Royals’ rotation. jsleezer@kcstar.com

With the Royals’ rotation sputtering generally and hemorrhaging when it comes to Chris Young and Kris Medlen, it seems the time for studied patience is over.

Young has a 6.68 ERA in seven starts after giving up a club-record five home runs on Monday, and Medlen has a 6.85 ERA in five starts entering their game today at Yankee Stadium.

Patience is especially thin when it comes to Young, who just isn’t the same as he was last season and needs retooling in a less pivotal role, at least temporarily.

In Medlen’s case, we can wonder if the sample size remains too small given that he still is less than a year removed from starting the 2015 season on the 60-day disabled list as he recovered from his second Tommy John surgery.

▪ So what’s the answer if the Royals decide to move Young into a bullpen role? It’s hidden in plain view: With Danny Duffy stranded as their fifth-best reliever, it’s hard to understand why the Royals don’t consider gearing him toward a starting role again.

Yes, Duffy was inconsistent last year. But for months before he got hurt in 2014, he was among the best lefty starters in the game (2.55 ERA in 25 starts). That’s where his greatest potential lies, and at 27 and with the Royals in need there, now would be a good time to sort it out.

▪ Walking our dogs (Ralph and Frankie) on Sunday, we ran into a woman gardening in her St. Louis Blues jersey. My wife, Cindy, asked her if she was from St. Louis, and the woman shrugged and said, “Closest team.” Got me thinking: Do many people share that thinking when it comes to a team in a league (NHL) we don’t have here?

I’d been wondering about that some already as I’ve tried to picture how much interest in the Chiefs might increase in St. Louis over the next few years as the Rams’ departure and improbability of another NFL team coming sets in.

▪ Almost couldn’t have been more impressed with Chiefs draftee KeiVarae Russell on Saturday, when he absolutely owned his suspension from Notre Dame football for plagiarism. Russell, who was reinstated at Notre Dame after sitting out a year, came off as sincere and impassioned and someone you can believe appreciates where he is and won’t squander his new life.

▪ It was hard to feel such conviction about controversial fifth-round pick Tyreek Hill, who clearly was off-balance and anguished to have to answer questions oriented to pleading guilty last year to domestic abuse by strangulation of his pregnant girlfriend in 2014.

▪ Give Hill that he said the episode was entirely “my fault” and that he is intent on becoming “a better man.” But so much remains unclear about his background, the Chiefs’ vetting process and even specifics of his court-mandated anger management and batterer’s program.

▪ Just wish the Chiefs hadn’t gone that way for many reasons, including what it asks of fans who want to unapologetically back their team. That’s part of why drafting Hill will always have been the wrong thing to do no matter how he performs on or off the field.

▪ All that said, no one should want to be able to say “told you so” on this. And there is a line somewhere that I’m worried resembles a mob mentality against someone we all want to see rehabilitated and become a productive member of society.

▪ I’ve been a comic book geek a long time, and I’ve found some of the movie versions to be terrific — like the first two Spider-Man ones with Tobey Maguire, and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

But I was disappointed with “Captain America: Civil War.” Too long, too many characters and endless “action” scenes that just become tedious. Insects were the highlights: Tom Holland as Spider-Man, strange as the character’s inclusion was, and Paul Rudd (Shawnee Mission West) as Ant-Man.

▪ Still, looking forward to the sequel: “Mizzou Softball: Civil War.”

▪ Saw the movie at Alamo Drafthouse on Main, so we parked eight or nine blocks away to check out the new streetcar. Enjoyed it but believe could have walked faster considering how the traffic lights slow down the streetcar. Too late to tweak that somehow?

▪ May is Cystic Fibrosis month, and here’s a chance to help the cause via trainer and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter Travis Conley and @longboardskc. Enjoyed getting to know Travis a couple years ago.

Vahe Gregorian: 816-234-4868, @vgregorian

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