Low-key Duffy quickly earns role with Cubs

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs' Matt Duffy (5) dives back to first base ahead of the throw to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freemam in the first inning Wednesday. Duffy was in the Cubs starting lineup Wednesday for the fifth time in the last eight games. He was a low-key free-agent addition in the winter, but has quickly impressed his new team.

    Cubs' Matt Duffy (5) dives back to first base ahead of the throw to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freemam in the first inning Wednesday. Duffy was in the Cubs starting lineup Wednesday for the fifth time in the last eight games. He was a low-key free-agent addition in the winter, but has quickly impressed his new team. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/28/2021 8:27 PM

Matt Duffy went from low-profile free-agent addition to key contributor for the Cubs pretty quickly.

Duffy started for the fifth time in the last eight games Wednesday, as Kris Bryant has essentially become the outfield replacement for the injured Joc Pederson.

 

"What has impressed me about Matt Duffy is his professionalism, his ability to embrace a role and stay ready," manager David Ross said. "His work ethic, his baseball IQ, his approach, his contact ability. One of the hardest things to do in baseball is pinch hit and be successful at it and he's done a really good job at that. All around, a very impressive young man and I'm glad he's one our team."

Duffy started the day batting .241. He didn't play in the majors last season, but has been a regular with San Francisco and Tampa Bay during his career. Duffy was runner-up to Bryant for NL rookie of the year in 2015 and he appeared in the 2014 World Series with the Giants.

"Duffy's been really good in the clubhouse," Anthony Rizzo said. "Very steady and low-key and keeps a really good perspective of the game."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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