The Royals have activated pitcher Josh Staumont from the Injured List and have sent pitcher Carlos Hernández to the Alternate Site. To make room on the 40-man roster for Staumont, they designated outfielder Nick Heath for assignment. Staumont was placed on the Injured List yesterday, with Ervin Santana replacing him on the active roster.
Staumont’s quick return suggests it was for COVID-19-related reasons. That does not mean he tested positive, it could be associated with fatigue from a vaccination. He did contract the COVID-19 virus in the off-season with significant health effects including a fever and weight loss. A player on the COVID-19 Injured List does not occupy a spot on the 40-man roster, which allowed them to add Santana. Staumont has made three appearances this year, last pitching in Sunday’s game against Chicago. He has struck out three hitters in 3 2⁄3 scoreless frames.
Hernández struggled in three outings this year, with five walks and four runs allowed with five strikeouts. He walked all three batters he faced on Saturday against the White Sox. The 24-year old right-hander had never pitched above Low-A ball until he pitched 14 2⁄3 innings at the big league level last year, with a 4.91 ERA.
Ervin Santana makes his return to the Royals, having pitched for them in 2013. He is a 15-year veteran with a 4.09 ERA and 149 wins at the big league level. He last pitched in 2019, with a 9.45 ERA in 13 1⁄3 innings for the White Sox. The 38-year old was throwing in the high-90s during spring training, and he will earn a prorated $1.5 million at the big league level after signing a minor league deal this off-season. The Royals also optioned first baseman Ryan McBroom to the Alternate Site yesterday and called up pitcher Tyler Zuber, giving them 14 pitchers.
Nick Heath is a 27-year old outfielder who led the minors in stolen bases in 2019. He appeared in 15 games for the Royals in 2020, hitting .154/.313/.231 with two steals in four attempts.
So to sum up the moves:
Tuesday - Ervin Santana up (and added to the 40-man roster, Tyler Zuber up, Josh Staumont to the COVID-19 Injured List (opening up a 40-man roster spot), Ryan McBroom sent down
Wednesday - Josh Staumont activated (and re-added to the 40-man roster, Carlos Hernández sent down, Nick Heath designated for assignment (to make room on the 40-man roster for Staumont)