Danny Duffy, who the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired from the Kansas City Royals at the MLB trade deadline, is currently on the 10-day injured list due to a left flexor strain for the second time this season.
He previously spent May 12 through June 23 on the shelf because of the strain before it was re-aggravated and he was placed on the IL again on July 20. Although a frustrating process, the southpaw is encouraged by recent progress made.
“I feel like this last week I turned the corner a little bit physically. I’ve been told anywhere from late August to early September, depending on the role — which I’m unaware of so far,” Duffy said.
“I’m just going to kind of do what I’m told in that regard and listen to the medical staff. Hopefully early September. That kind of sounds like across the board the answer that I got.”
If Duffy returns as a starter, building him back up and stretching out his arm would be a longer process than if he was to return as a relief pitcher.
The main focus for Duffy and the training staff now is to make sure he doesn’t return too soon, which could cause a setback that potentially keeps him out for the rest of the season.
“I think it’s just one of those things as you kind of grow up in this game, when you rush things you make it worse,” Duffy noted.
“I’m confident that I’m turning the corner, but it’s something that I know I’m no good to anybody if I’m hurt. So we’re going to get this thing all the way right and then be able to get going.”
Although he has dealt with the same injury twice this season, Duffy doesn’t believe he rushed back too quickly the first time.
“I just think this was something that was going to happen. There’s never a lack of preparation with me, there’s never a lack of work. It was just one of those things that happened. But I’m confident it won’t happen again,” he said.
“I just think if we’re looking to deep in October, I want to make absolutely sure something like this doesn’t happen again. I think I’m echoing what Prior, Doc and everyone involved has said too. I’m confident that physically I’m going to be just fine and I’ll be ready to go before you know it.”
Flexor strains can often lead to Tommy John surgery for a pitcher, but Duffy said he was told his “ligament is fully intact,” so that won’t be an option he has to consider.
“From what I’ve been told by multiple people, everything is fine,” Duffy added. “It’s just my flexor is a little bit cranky. But it’s getting better every day I wake up. It’s definitely getting there.”
Duffy open to any role
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team would ideally like to build up Duffy as a starting pitcher, but they also feel confident with him becoming an impact pitcher out of the bullpen.
The decision will be evaluated based on when Duffy is able to return from his injury.
“I’m just at a point where I’m going to do whatever they ask of me,” Duffy said. “Get physically right all the way and whatever is needed, I’m all for it.”
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