May 30: The Royals have formally announced that Duffy has been placed on the 10-day DL, and Skoglund’s contract has indeed been selected from Omaha in a corresponding move.
The 24-year-old Skoglung was Kansas City’s third-round pick back in 2014 and entered the year ranked third and fourth, respectively, among Royals farmhands according to MLB.com and Baseball America. Both outlets call Skoglund a potential back-of-the-rotation arm, with MLB.com noting that he has a high floor. BA writes that he has three average pitches and excellent control but no plus offerings or a true out pitch.
Prior to his promotion, Skoglund had pitched to a 4.53 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 45.3 percent ground-ball rate in 43 2/3 innings with Omaha. If he can get off to a decent start, it’s possible that he’ll pitch himself into the club’s 2018 rotation plans.
May 29: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy will be placed on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next six to eight weeks due to a grade one oblique strain, reports MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (via Twitter).
The loss of Duffy, who leads the Royals in innings pitched and has the second-best ERA in their rotation, is yet another blow to a Kansas City club that has gotten off to a dismal 21-28 start to the season and currently sits in last place (6.5 games out of first place) in the American League Central. He’ll join rotation-mate Nate Karns on the 10-day DL.
It’s not immediately clear how they’ll replace him in the rotation, though Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star suggested earlier today (Twitter link) that Eric Skoglund, who was held out of his last start in Omaha, could make tomorrow’s start for the Royals. The team does not yet have a starter listed for that contest, as Karns was only recently placed on the disabled list. Now, with Duffy on the shelf, they’ll need to find a second option to add to the rotation.
For a Royals club that many expect to operate as a seller prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, the loss of one of its best arms for a considerable chunk of the season only seems to make an eventual sale likelier. Players such as Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Mike Minor are all free agents at season’s end, while Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, Brandon Moss and Jason Hammel are all controlled through the 2018 season.