The Royals announced today that Danny Duffy will very likely undergo Tommy John surgery after coming out of Sunday’s game after just 2/3 of an inning. He will thus join Soria in being out for the rest of the season and in Duffy’s case he will miss at least the first month of the 2013 season as well.
This is a continuation of a bad trend for the Royals. As I type this, the 34th game of the year is being played in Texas. In Spring Training and those first 33 games of the season the Royals have sent six pitchers to the DL. Joakim Soria, Blake Wood, Felipe Paulino, Greg Holland and Jonathan Sanchez are the other five and their absences have all hurt the Royals. I have lost count of the number of roster moves we have made; there has been a revolving door between the bullpen and Omaha. Nate Adcock returned to the Royals today after spending less than 48 hours at Omaha. In addition to the pitchers there have also been two would-be starting position players, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain, placed on the DL and a pair of reserves, Manny Pina and Yuniesky Betancourt, are also unavailable. (Though Betancourt’s injury is probably more of a benefit to the Royals than anything else.) It’s no excuse for our record, of course, (the Nationals and Orioles both have more injury concerns and are both in or near first place anyway) but it is a significant hurdle. For such a young side to lose a very promising catcher, an all-star closer and a large chunk of the pitching staff is to ask probably too much of those remaining.
This could be bad luck, but the more injuries we see the less likely that is to be the case. It could also be something more worrying. Either the training staff need to look hard at what the problem could be or the front office need to look hard at the training staff. There was not a lot expected of the Royals this season and thus not a lot to be lost by these injuries, but in the upcoming years that stops being the case. We can still (theoretically) play over .500 with these injuries, but if we have to use the DL ten times before England play a Test in 2013 or 2014 it will likely scupper any hopes we may have of competing for the Central Division title.