There are key players on every team whose injury would be crushing. But there's something about the Royals and Danny Duffy, boy. One of the most discouraging injuries of the year so far:
#Royals head physician Dr. Key diagnoses LHP Danny Duffy with a torn left ulnar collateral ligament. Duffy to get 2nd opinion w/ Dr. Yocum.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 14, 2012
That's code for "Tommy John surgery." The 23-year-old Duffy was off to a pretty nice start this year, boosting his strikeout rate while keeping the ball in the park. He was walking too many hitters, but only because Jonathan Sanchez used his bar of soap in the shower once, which usually leads to short-term effects.
Duffy has a career 2.65 ERA in 350 minor-league innings, with a 407/110 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He was ranked as the #68 prospect in baseball before the start of last season, when he lost his rookie eligibility.