The Kansas City Royals are seven weeks or so into the 2012 MLB season and injuries have already taken a significant toll on a young, promising team. The Royals lost Lorenzo Cain for several weeks, Joakim Soria for the season, Salvy Perez for at least half of 2012 and now Danny Duffy is going to be shelved until 2013 with Tommy John surgery scheduled in the near future.
The Royals have rolled with the losses to their position players, but the team can ill afford losses to the starting rotation. Even the bullpen is deep, but the loss of Soria kept Aaron Crow from transitioning to the rotation. Now the loss of Duffy will leave a team already with a poor rotation searching for more answers. Surprisingly enough, the Royals manager is taking it all in stride.
"The bad news is -- yeah, it stinks -- he'll probably be out a year," Ned Yost said. "The good news is when he comes back, the way they've been doing these surgeries, he's going to be every bit as strong or stronger, and ready to resume his career."
Those are promising words from a manager who is learning to keep the morale high for a young, impressionable team. But saying "it stinks" and then moving on doesn't lend the right amount of gravity to a loss like this.
It's not that Yost should turn into Chicken Little or wear a black uniform for a weak with ashes on his head to properly mourn the loss. But the reality is that this was a major year for Duffy's development and the Royals needed him out there every fifth game. The loss of Duffy is the loss of one starter who is not predictably mediocre. That's a major loss for a thin team like KC.