Royals add veteran reliever Tyler Duffey to bullpen. Here’s the role he could fill

The Kansas City Royals added to their bullpen on Monday.

The Royals recalled veteran reliever Tyler Duffey from Triple-A Omaha ahead of their series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium.

“I’m ready for whatever we need here and win some ball games here,” Duffey said. “So, I look forward to hopefully hanging around for a while.”

Duffey, 33, joined the Royals organization this offseason. He spent nine big-league seasons with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs. He has a career major-league earned-run average of 4.57 in 296 games.

The Royals also optioned reliever Anthony Veneziano to Triple-A Omaha. He allowed one run in two innings during his brief stint in Kansas City. And teliever Jordan Lyles was placed on the restricted list as he tends to a personal matter.

Duffey was added to the Royals’ 40-man roster Monday. He brings more veteran experience to a bullpen group that includes Will Smith, Chris Stratton, John Schreiber and Nick Anderson.

In spring training, Duffey impressed with his ability to pound the strike zone. Duffey relies primarily on a four-seam fastball, knuckle-curve and sinker, per Baseball Savant.

“We thought highly of him when we signed him in the offseason ...” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He’s competitive and he throws strikes. He can spin the ball. Against a team with a lot of righties, he is a good guy to add.”

Duffey was excited to make his regular-season debut. It’s been a long road back that included overcoming melanoma earlier this year. Duffey had surgery on Feb. 27 to remove the melanoma from his neck area.

“Good,” Duffey said when asked how he felt. “You know it’s good to get warmed up a little bit. You know, the first few weeks are always interesting with the cold and stuff like that. The weather is warming up and settling in, (I’m) getting into a groove and a routine.”

The Royals (13-9) were looking to start fast against the Blue Jays on Monday. Toronto arrives having won six of the last seven meetings between the clubs. KC’s last victory over the Jays came on April 3, 2023. That was also Quatraro’s first managerial victory.