After the devastating news of Danny Duffy is on the DL for roughly 6-8 weeks, Royals’ fans didn’t know what to expect when the team decided to call up left-hander Eric Skoglund following only eight starts at Triple-A Omaha. The 24-year-old probably wasn’t even sure what to expect when he received the news he would be pitching Tuesday opposite, Justin Verlander. It turned out to be a night that the young southpaw will never forget.
Skoglund pitched a remarkable game for the Royals. In his final line over 6.1 innings, Skoglund gave up only 2 hits and a walk, allowing zero runs and striking out five batters. He is the first Kansas City starter to throw six-plus scoreless innings in a major league debut since Derek Botelho in 1982. When asked what manager Ned Yost said to him on the mound, Skoglund replied,” He told me to walk slowly and soak it all in.” Skoglund walked off the mound to a standing ovation and tipped his hat to his family and the crowd before entering the dugout.
The bullpen was able to close the door behind him, ensuring that Skoglund’s special night would end in a victory. Peter Moylan struck out J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton on six pitches to end the seventh. Mike Minor worked around a single in the eighth. Kelvin Herrera pitched a spotless ninth for his 12th save of the season.
The Royals drafted Eric Skoglund out of Central Florida in the third round of 2014. The 6-foot-7 lefty began the 2017 season in Double-A Northwest Arkansas and made only one start before being promoted to Omaha. He went 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in those eight starts. Although he only pitched for two months in Omaha, Skoglund has given fans something to be positive about in the absence of Danny Duffy.