Danny Duffy made a start for the Naturals last Saturday against the Springfield Cardinals. Today, he will start for the Royals against the Angles in his first start of 2019 for the Royals. On paper, Duffy went 5.1 innings allowing 1 unearned run on 4 hits, no walks, and 7 strikeouts. Let’s take a look and see how he did. I watched the start live, but now am going back to re-watch and see what the film tells us.
Wearing the number 44 on his back, Duffy was 93 to 95 in the first inning. He gave up a leadoff ground ball single through the left side to start the game. However, he struck out the next two batters before that runner was caught stealing. As the game wore on, the fastball velocity diminished slightly and he worked 92-93.
Duffy pitched exclusively out of the stretch. He used a lot of fastballs and worked to gain control of that pitch. His location improved as the night went on. When he was ahead, he continued to use the fastball and worked up to get poor swings and strikeouts above the hands.
I’m making it sound like Duffy didn’t use anything but his fastball, but he did use the breaking ball and change up as well. It was as if he was working on his fastball, then working his off speed once he was comfortable with the fastball. The change up was solid with arm side movement and noticeable sink on it. It was very deceptive. The curve had good, sharp break. It was MLB ready. Duffy didn’t use it a lot, but he used it enough to keep guys off balance and make sure it was ready to go for the Angels today.
Duffy seemed poised and in charge of his emotions all night. In some of his starts in the past, there has been negative body language. On this evening, there was just a calm and collected Duffy dominating Cardinals.
Duffy looked ready to go. I had no doubts that Duffy was MLB ready after watching this start. His fastball location got better as the game went on, he located his change up exceptionally well throughout, and his curve had the customary breaking action it normally does. Duffy’s season is starting a little later than normal, but he is ready to go.
Picture from the Naturals website taken by John Owen.