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Kyle Zimmer, Josh Staumont among players re-assigned to minor league camp

They could return as relievers this year.

MLB: Spring Training-Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have re-assigned seven players to minor league camp, including top pitching prospects Kyle Zimmer and Josh Staumont. Zimmer struggled in his first outing against the Rangers, giving up three runs and a home run to Ryan Rua, but was sharp last weekend against the Giants, hitting 95 mph on the radar with a 1-2-3 inning. Staumont had given up just one run with two walks in three innings of work with three strikeouts. Staumont was a non-roster invitee, and a long-shot to make the roster. Also re-assigned were catchers Chase Vallot and Xavier Fernandez, infielder Corey Toups, outfielder Alfredo Escalera, and pitchers Jonathan Dziedzic, Luke Farrell, and Eric Skoglund. The Royals had previously re-assigned pitcher A.J. Puckett to minor league camp.

According to Kansas City Star reporter Rustin Dodd and reporter Jeffrey Flanagan, the Royals could bring back Zimmer or Staumont back up to join the bullpen at some point this year, but wanted to get them more innings this spring in minor league camp and stretch them out as starters this year. Zimmer has thrown just 84 innings over the last three years combined due to a variety of injuries.

The moves leave 55 players left in camp with the Royals.