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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Royals' pitching prospect walks away

The more things change ... from Bob Dutton and the Kansas City Star:

1. The notion that there's no connection between Duffy's elbow injury and his decision to quit baseball strikes me as less than insightful. Some people, when they cross paths with adversity, just sort of give up. I'm not saying that's what happened here. But this does seem awfully coincidental.

2. Losing (for now, anyway) a pitcher like Duffy isn't the end of the world. Duffy's a 21-year-old who doesn't throw particularly hard and hasn't pitched against Double-A hitters yet. John Sickels rates him as a Grade B prospect, and 21-year-old Grade B pitchers don't typically win more than a couple of dozen games in the majors.

3. Still, this is a blow. The Royals need young pitchers. Michael Montgomery, their best pitching prospect, also hasn't pitched above Class A yet. Aaron Crow, their second-best best pitching prospect, is 23 and hasn't pitched professionally yet. Essentially, the Royals are two seasons away from even beginning to hope that one of their pitching prospects wins a dozen games for the big club.

In other words, business as usual for the worst organization in the American League.