Danny Duffy didn’t pitch in the majors in 2022, one of thirteen 2022 Dodgers who did not play for the team. Duffy is the 12th such review we’ve written of those near-Dodgers, with one more on the docket tomorrow.
A flexor tendon tear in his left elbow derailed what was potentially the best season of Duffy’s career in 2021 with the Royals. He was traded in July to the Dodgers, his favorite team growing up, at the deadline, but was unable to pitch the rest of the year. After offseason surgery to repair the flexor tendon, Duffy returned to the Dodgers on an incentive-laden deal, but ran out of time while rehabbing and never made it back to the majors.
It has to be frustrating for Duffy, who grew up a Dodgers fan, to be on the team but never active for eight baseball months over a year and a half.
But there was another frustrating aspect of Duffy’s absence from the team. There just weren’t good photo options to use when writing about him. SB Nation has contracts with Getty Images and USA Today images, available in our searchable database to use in posts. Unfortunately, USA Today has no images of Duffy on the Dodgers. The only search results for “Danny Duffy Dodgers” include games he pitched against Los Angeles while on the Royals.
Getty Images only has two photos of Duffy on the Dodgers, both in the third base dugout at Dodger Stadium on August 3, 2021, shortly after the left-hander was acquired via trade. In one, Duffy is in the background of a photo with Albert Pujols addressing Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Max Muncy. It’s not a useable photo of Duffy.
It makes sense that the Duffy photo options are limited, since the bulk of his time with the team has spent rehabbing, including a lot of time at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. He just wasn’t around the major league team much at all, plus he wasn’t there for photo day in spring training, which rarely produce compelling photos but at least provide other options if available.
Which is why the top of this article features a familiar photo of Duffy, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, as if trying to obscure himself as a metaphor for his time with the Dodgers. You might recognize that photo, since it’s the one I used when the Dodgers sent minor league pitcher Zach Willeman to the Royals in October 2021 to complete the Duffy trade, and the same photo used for Duffy’s 2021 season in review, used again when Duffy re-signed with the Dodgers this March, or when in August it was speculated Duffy might not pitch in the majors this season, or a few days later when he began a minor league rehab assignment in Arizona.
We got a lot of use out of that one photo.
Stats: did not pitch in majors; 6⅔ IP, 5.40 ERA, 11 K, 4 BB in 7 rehab games in minors
Salary: $3 million
Game of the year
Duffy’s first game with Triple-A Oklahoma City was his best. After two rehab games in the Arizona Complex League and one more with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, Duffy on August 31 at Round Rock (a Rangers affiliate) struck out all three batters he faced in a tie game in the sixth inning, throwing 14 pitches.
The Dodgers declined Duffy’s $7-million club option for 2023 on November 8. He’s a free agent.