Short post today as I’m still trying to shake the cobwebs out of an 18 run beatdown…

About a quarter of the way through the season and already this year has been something else. The optimism of April has yielded to the harsh realities of May… And a crummy starting rotation. As good as these guys looked in the Bronx last week, this is the same team that turned in a couple of 2008 vintage Royal performances against the Indians.

At least the process rolls along, with the start on Wednesday of Danny Duffy. We all know about his story: How he walked away from the game last spring, only to return and dominate. He was slated to open the season in Double-A, but a strong spring, combined with that late season performance of 2010, convinced the Royals to give him a chance in Omaha. All he’s done for the Stormchasers is post a 10.6 SO/9 and a 3.00 ERA. Not bad.

However, he has met with some adversity in the month of May. He’s given up 10 runs in three starts while going a total of 16 innings. One prospect watcher told me a little over a year ago that it would be interesting to see how Duffy handled adversity… Because he had never experienced anything like that in his professional career. I’m sure the Royals would have preferred to have let Duffy stay in Triple-A for a few more starts, to deal with this rough patch and move on. (Quick aside: While Duffy has been giving up runs, he’s still striking out batters at an impressive rate. This isn’t symptomatic of some larger issue… Pitchers give up runs. He’ll be fine.) Sometimes, teams don’t have the luxury of allowing a player to stay in the minors. In this case, injuries and bullpen meltdowns are the impetus.

I have no doubt Duffy will be fine. I’m excited he’s up and excited that The Process is moving full steam ahead.

— Speaking of roller coasters, since his 19 game hitting streak ended on April 27, Alex Gordon is hitting .191/.263/.382 with 16 strikeouts in 68 at bats. We knew he wasn’t going to hit .340 over the entire schedule, but this regression to the mean has been especially sudden… And cruel.

Watching him now is like looking at a completely different player. One who has reverted to his old unsuccessful ways.