Staumont pitched a perfect ninth inning in Saturday's 11-4 win over the Rangers. It was a non-save situation, but Staumont still pitched well. He needed just nine pitches to retire the side and end the game. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 2.45 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, eight holds and a 0.7 groundball-to-flyball ratio in 25.2 innings last year. Staumont is expected to see high-leverage work in 2021, including some save opportunities. Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Scott Barlow are also in the mix to close in a crowded Royals bullpen.
Staumont revealed Monday that he contracted COVID-19 right before the start of camp, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports. He lost weight and dealt with a high fever, which is why he is a little behind the rest of Kansas City's relievers in terms of getting spring work in. Staumont made his spring debut Sunday, striking out one while allowing zero baserunners in one inning against the Dodgers. He should work in the late innings and will compete with Greg Holland and Scott Barlow for save opportunities.
Staumont threw one inning in a simulated game Thursday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. Staumont was delayed arriving to camp for undisclosed reasons and has been ramping up his workload slowly since joining the team. He had thrown bullpens and live batting practice prior to Thursday's simulated game, and the next step will be Cactus League action.
Staumont gave up two hits with zero strikeouts but did not allow a run in one inning Saturday against the Pirates en route to his eighth hold of the season. Staumont has been a valuable setup man for the Royals, boasting a 1.80 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 20 innings, although his 14 walks and 1.40 WHIP still linger as negative aspects of his fantasy profile. Greg Holland has emerged as the team's top closing option.
Staumont was removed from Friday's win against the Twins with back tightness, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Staumont slipped on the mound while delivering one of his pitches Friday, and manager Mike Matheny said after the game that he was removed from the game as a precautionary measure. The right-hander will be examined again Saturday in order to better determine the extent of the injury.
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