Baseball Prospectus Kansas City’s David Lesky looks at the possibility of Danny Duffy winning the Cy Young.
What if I told you there was a pitcher who ranks in the top five in the AL in ERA, strikeouts per nine innings, strikeout to walk ratio, FIP, WARP and DRA and was top 20 in wins? Is that something you might be interested in?
Now what if I told you, he pitches for the Royals? Is your mind blown? Okay, probably not. You knew by the title of this article that it was going to be about Danny Duffy, but that doesn’t change how impressive a season he’s having, especially now that he has enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. And that led me to start wondering if, with a finish as fantastic as the start, Duffy could actually contend for the Cy Young.
Initially, the idea was a little nutty to me. I mean, the guy isn’t even in the top 30 in innings pitched because he spent the first month-plus of the season in the bullpen. Typically, even with how good he’s been, I think the question would be kind of silly, but this is a weird season. There’s not a ton of dominance in the American League among starters. This is one of those years that someone like Zach Britton could sneak in to win pitching’s most prestigious award.
Scott Chasen asserts that Matt Strahm fits in nicely in the Royals’ pen:
Strahm surrendered a run in his first relief appearance, but he's been just about perfect ever since. Among his outings was a high-leverage situation against the Rays with the Royals clinging to a 3-2 lead, in addition to a two-inning stint against the White Sox in Tuesday night's 7-5 loss in 10 innings, in which he struck out five of the seven batters he faced.
"In Spring Training, we were really impressed with his ability not to get real wide-eyed out on the mound," manager Ned Yost said. "He's been good."
Counting the Minors, Strahm has already thrown more innings this season than in any other, something the Royals are keeping an eye on. However, even with the extra workload, Yost said he could see Strahm getting a start as the season goes on, which makes sense given the promise he's shown.
At the Star, Luke Manderfeld [also] writes on Strahm:
Since his call-up from Class AA Northwest Arkansas on July 31 — a corresponding move after the Royals placed closer Wade Davis on the 15-day disabled list with a forearm strain —Strahm, 24, has made the most of his four innings of work. He has 10 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA.
He turned in another stellar performance Tuesday, going two innings and notching five strikeouts in relief.
“He’s done a nice job,” Royals manager Ned Yost said after the Royals’ 7-5 loss to the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. “He’s got some really nice stuff. He’s got tremendous composure for a young guy. He just comes up — on the attack, banging strikes and throwing great stuff.”
BP’s Sam Miller speculates that it’s only a matter of time before we see a starter strike out 25 in nine innings.
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The song for the day is “Twiggy Twiggy” by Pizzicato 5.