Duffy (heel), who officially confirmed last Friday that he will not play before the end of the regular season, believes he'll be ready to go for the 2018 campaign, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. "The plan is looking toward instructional league," said Duffy, who began the season on the disabled list while trying to recover from Achilles surgery and later had a second surgery. "The goal is to not have any reservations going into Spring Training, and having as normal an offseason as possible."
Duffy had come into spring training last March with high expectations following September 2016 heel surgery, as he'd figured on being ready to play by the middle of that month and serve as the team's everyday starting shortstop. However, issues started to crop up by late March and led to Duffy's recovery undergoing a series of fits and starts over the next several months. The 26-year-old has participated in fielding drills and batting practice at various points during his rehab, but he was only able to get in a total of eight at-bats over three games with High-A Charlotte during 2017 before being shut down. A late-June follow-up procedure that removed a calcium deposit from the heel appears to have been pivotal to finally eliminating the discomfort Duffy had persistently felt, and he's now set to test himself during both instructional league and winter ball over the coming months.