By some measures, Danny Duffy was the Kansas City Royals’ most effective starter this season. But the Royals plan to use four starters during the American League Division Series, and Duffy is not one of them.
“That’s the decision we made,” Royals Manager Ned Yost said. “I’m not shying away from Danny Duffy.”
Duffy went 9-12 with a 2.53 earned-run average. The only AL pitchers with a better ERA (minimum 140 innings): Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Jon Lester. Among the Royals starters, he has the best ERA+, a statistic that neutralizes league and park factors.
Duffy, 25, and Jason Vargas, 31, are both left-handed. Duffy gave up five runs in one start in Anaheim this season; Vargas one run in one start.
Vargas got the Game 1 start. Duffy is the Royals’ long man, and Yost insisted there is no concern about the shoulder injury that sidelined him for two weeks in September.
“We just felt we wanted to go with the veteran Jason Vargas, who pitches better on the road,” Yost said.
Vargas has a 4.53 ERA at home, 2.73 on the road. Duffy’s ERA on the road: 2.41.