The best things we saw this week: Tyler Duffey returns to the mound for Kansas City

Each week of the baseball season can be counted on to deliver something new and fun. Here are the best things we saw in the fourth week of the 2024 MLB season.

It’s never too early in the season for a feel-good story, and this week, Kansas City Royals reliever Tyler Duffey delivered a lot more than your typical April relief appearance when he made his season debut for Kansas City on Monday after being recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

The 33-year-old right-hander was diagnosed with melanoma during spring training and underwent successful surgery to remove the cancer from his shoulder. Since then, Duffey had been working to rehab and return to the mound.

Well, not only did Duffey return Monday, but he also had a strong showing in his first game with Kansas City, tossing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts in the Royals’ 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays. In case you forgot, Duffey was one of the best relievers in baseball with Minnesota from 2019 to ‘21, with a 2.52 ERA in that span.

Of course, baseball is secondary in this story, and the game results are not the most important thing. What is important is that Duffey is healthy and cancer-free, a comeback we can all root for.

Chicago Cubs rookie outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong has been one of MLB’s top prospects for a few seasons now, and after a brief cup of coffee last season, PCA returned to the big leagues this week still in search of his first hit in the majors.

In a tie ballgame Thursday against the Astros, Crow-Armstrong made sure that his first big-league hit was extra special. The Cubs’ top prospect launched a no-doubt, two-run shot off Houston reliever Bryan Abreu, sending a packed Wrigley Field into a frenzy and giving the Cubs the lead en route to a 3-1 victory.

PCA — the No. 15 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline — might’ve been called up due to Cody Bellinger’s broken ribs, but he clearly has talent that could be a huge asset for the Cubs in the interim.

During baseball season, it seems that not a day goes by without two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani doing something to amaze, and lately, he’s doing something we haven’t seen from him before. Going into Friday’s game in Toronto, Ohtani has accumulated an MLB-leading 14 doubles in just over four weeks of play.

For perspective, his teammate Freddie Freeman set a career high with an MLB-leading 59 doubles last season and through 26 games this season has hit five doubles. Ohtani’s start has him set to fly past that. The two-time MVP is currently on pace to hit more than 80 doubles, which would shatter the record of 67 in a season, set by Earl Webb in 1931.

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