Royals place Duffy on DL; Vargas to take his spot in rotation

Danny Duffy will miss his scheduled start Tuesday after being placed on the 15-day DL.

 

Denny Medley/Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals placed left-hander Danny Duffy on the 15-day disabled list Monday with left biceps tendinitis, recalling Brandon Finnegan from Triple A Omaha to fill his roster spot. The move was retroactive to May 17, meaning Duffy is eligible for reinstatement as soon as June 1.

Duffy was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Yankees, but left-hander Jason Vargas will come off the disabled list to take his spot in the rotation. Vargas has been out with a left flexor strain.

Duffy had been battling shoulder stiffness that canceled his scheduled start Saturday evening against St. Louis, and hadn’t thrown since feeling the pain during a bullpen session Thursday. He had also been weathering recent struggles on the mound.

In his last three starts, Duffy lasted a combined 9 2/3 innings and gave up 14 earned runs (13.03 ERA) on 15 hits and 10 walks (2.586 WHIP). His spot in the rotation has been questioned with Vargas’ impending return and Chris Young’s continued success as a starter.

But the disabled list gives the Royals time to massage their inflexible roster and allows Duffy to participate in rehabilitation games in the minor leagues.

Duffy went through a bout of shoulder stiffness last season, going through 10 weeks of it, according to Royals manager Ned Yost. In a Sept. 6 start against the Yankees, Duffy threw one pitch before being removed from the game with shoulder concerns.

Both Yost and Duffy previously said they didn’t expect the injury to be a nagging one throughout the season, instead saying that skipping a start was to prevent the chronic pain. General manager Dayton Moore preferred to take a wait-and-see approach on the injury’s long-term impact.

"You never want to see a guy miss a start," Moore said, "but we’ll see. It’s hard to tell."

Finnegan’s stay in the big leagues is likely a short one with Vargas ready to be activated prior to Tuesday’s game.

Alex Rios to Omaha

The Royals also officially sent outfielder Alex Rios on a rehab assignment with Omaha on Monday. Rios (fractured left hand) left Kansas City on Sunday on his way to Omaha.

You can follow Matthew DeFranks on Twitter at @MDeFranks or email him at matthew.defranks@gmail.com.