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.
Mike Matheny on naming Danny Duffy the opening day starter for the #Royals: "We're pushing him to embrace that roll and his stuff lends itself to being in that conversation for him taking the ball that first day." pic.twitter.com/7az21JM5im— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) July 14, 2020
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 2⁄3 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.