When the Dodgers traded for Danny Duffy last season, they knew the risks. Duffy was recovering from a flexor strain, an injury that had shut him down before. But their need for starting pitching greatly outweighed any risk associated with a trade for him.
Unfortuantely, it did not work out. Duffy ran into a setback and ultimately had to have surgery to repair that flexor tendon. He went down for the season without ever throwing a pitch for the Dodgers.
“I just think I have a lot left in the tank, and I didn’t get to help all last year and that was devastating. This group of guys has been a lot of fun to be around, and I’m excited to be an active player and actually get to contribute. It was a no-brainer.”
That surgery puts Duffy’s return right around June of this year. Given the pitching that they currently have, the Dodgers are very much going to need him down the stretch. But the left-handed hurler says that he feels good, and he’s not feeling pain for the first time in a while.
“This is the first time in a long time that I haven’t really felt pain. My mobility is back all the way, and I’m getting into strengthening it, and I think we’re just taking it day by day. Last year I was kind of in a mode where I emptied the tank no matter what and that one day I was playing catch, I just felt it go and that was a tough day.”
Duffy signed a one-year deal to return to the Dodgers this season. The expectation right now is that he will provide starter depth, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them use him in relief given his recovery.
But for the moment, the Dodgers starting staff is very much their biggest question mark. Trevor Bauer’s future with the team is very uncertain as he awaits a decision from Major League Baseball. Clayton Kershaw is coming back from an arm injury, and the other two starters for the moment are Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.
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