Almonte has made back-to-back appearances out of the bullpen after working predominantly as a starter at Triple-A Omaha during the first three months of the season. It is unclear if the Royals are simply limiting his workload in the minors with the hope of having him available as a possible replacement in the rotation during the second half, or if he's now being viewed as a piece for the big league bullpen in the near future. In his two relief appearances since the calendar flipped to July, Almonte has allowed one run on three hits over three innings. For the season, he's posted a 5.15 ERA along with a 51:36 K:BB in 50.2 innings, which ultimately may be the driving factor behind the organization's decision.
Almonte threw four innings of three run ball while surrendering four hits and four walks en route to a loss in his most recent start for Triple-A Omaha on Thursday. Thursday marked Almonte's third consecutive start where he was removed before the fifth inning, raising his ERA to 5.04 on the season. He also has thrown fewer than 90 pitches in five consecutive starts. Given his current performance, it seems unlikely Almonte will get a crack at the major league level this season.
Almonte was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Thursday. With the Royals reinstating Dillon Gee from the paternity list, the club needed to clear a spot on the active roster, leaving Almonte as the likeliest candidate to be optioned. He'll head back down to Triple-A after his brief stint with the Royals, where he figures to continue working out of the rotation. In two starts at Triple-A this season, Almonte has allowed four earned runs over 5.0 total innings.
Almonte was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. Right-hander Dillon Gee was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, leaving the Royals a bit more thin in their bullpen. Almonte wasn't great in two starts at Triple-A, but he did leave a nice impression during spring training with eight strikeouts in six innings which may have factored into the callup. He likely won't be in the big league bullpen for long, but he could rack up a few strikeouts in lower-leverage situations while Gee remains out.
Almonte was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Monday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. Almonte pitched well with the major league club during spring training, punching out eight batters while only allowing two earned runs in six innings pitched. The flamethrower will head back to the minors to get more experience against upper-level hitters, but if he can hold his own, the 22-year-old could find his way to Kansas City once again.
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