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Danny Duffy officially named Opening Day starter

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It will be the third Opening Day start for the left-hander.

Kansas City Royals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Manager Mike Matheny made it official today - Danny Duffy will get the Opening Day assignment when the Royals open the season on July 24 against the Indians in Cleveland. It will be the third Opening Day assignment for the left-hander, with starts in 2017 and 2018. Brad Keller started last year’s Opening Day, but he is out indefinitely with the coronavirus.

The rest of the rotation has not been confirmed, but Jakob Junis and Mike Montgomery should be locks to be in the rotation. Brady Singer, the first-round pick from 2018, is a candidate to make the rotation, and with Keller’s status uncertain, that could open the door for another candidate like Jorge López, Glenn Sparkman, or Foster Griffin.

Duffy went 7-6 with a 4.34 ERA and a 478 FIP in 130 23 innings last year, striking out 7.9 per-nine-innings, and was worth 1.9 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. He is in the fourth year of a five-year contract that was scheduled to pay him $65 million, although his pay will be reduced this year due to the shortened schedule.

When Duffy makes his third Opening Day start this month, only Kevin Appier (7) and Dennis Leonard (4) will have started on Opening Day more for the Royals than Duffy. Bud Black, Gil Meche, Bret Saberhagen, Paul Splittorff, and Jeff Suppan all also each made three Opening Day starts for the Royals.