Q&A with Royals 3rd round pick Daniel Duffy

The Royals selected pitcher Daniel Duffy out of California's Cabrillo High School in the third round of the 2007 draft. The 6-foot-2 southpaw got off to a solid start for the Arizona Royals, tossing a scoreless 5.2 innings in his first two games, but he hasn't pitched since July 3. On Thursday, RC caught up with Duffy to chat about his pitches and to find out why he hasn't pitched in over a week.

Royals Corner: Danny, you haven't pitched in a little over a week now. What's the problem, and how much longer do you expect to be out?

Daniel Duffy: Well, during the season I didn't throw every day, and I'm just starting to get used to that. It's a little bit of fatigue, but I'm feeling a lot better, and I'm supposed to start on Sunday. I'm getting back up to full strength.

RC: In the innings you have pitched so far this season, you've done very well. What are your early impressions of the Arizona League?

DD: Solid. A lot of good ballplayers, and a lot of good competition. It's a whole other world from high school. You've got to really focus and crack down on location, and just be smarter than the hitters are. In high school you could just blow it by people, but this is a whole other level. It's great competition, and I enjoy it.

RC: How do you cope with the heat here in Arizona?

DD: The first day I got here, it was 120 degrees. That kind of broke me in a little bit. But I'm starting to get used to it. Muscles work a lot better in the heat than they do in the cold, where I'm from. I'm starting to get used to it, and it's not too bad.

RC: Could you talk a little bit about your draft day experience? What was it like being drafted by the Royals.

DD: It was awesome. Five minutes before that, I had just received my high school diploma. I sat down, and my dad came over to the fencing and said "Danny, you just got drafted -- third round, Royals." Good stuff. I had done a little research, and I knew they were close to home, so it was a good deal.

RC: Did you have a college commitment?

DD: I did -- Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo.

RC: Was it a tough decision for you to sign?

DD: Oh yeah, it's a great school. A good program and great coaches all around. I would have loved to play for them, but I think in the long run, I made the right decision.

RC: Could you talk a little bit about your repertoire? What pitches do you throw, and what speeds do you generally work at?

DD: My fastball usually runs 91-94 mph. I've topped out at 96. I drop down to a changeup at about 78-82. My slider is 82-84. And my curveball is 70-72. I don't throw my slider just yet. I'm trying to develop a solid three-pitch repertoire.

RC: Is that at the direction of the Royals? I know a lot of time they tell their pitchers, young guys especially, not to throw sliders.

DD: Yeah, I've been bugging M.D. (Mark Davis) about it, the pitching coach, to see if he'll let me start throwing it. But I agree with him. I need to get cracking down on my three pitches, and that'll come later. I'll keep it in my back pocket though.

RC: What would you say is your best pitch?

DD: My fastball overpowers people, but my changeup is definitely my out pitch.

RC: And what needs the most work -- your curveball?

DD: Yeah, I've got to get up on top of that. It starts to drag a little bit after awhile when I'm throwing.

RC: What's your general pitching strategy out there? How do you go after hitters, and does it vary against righties and lefties?

DD: Basically, it's just the same for both sides of the plate. Just be smarter than the hitter. If I throw a curveball in the dirt and they swing at it, I'll give them another one. You've got to have it up here.

RC: Thanks for speaking with me, Danny.

DD: No problem. Thanks a lot.

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