The Royals have recalled pitchers Jackson Kowar and Matt Peacock from Triple-A Omaha and placed pitcher Josh Staumont on the Injured List with a neck strain and sent down pitcher Foster Griffin.
Kowar has struggled in his Major League career so far with a 12.03 ERA in 33 2⁄3 innings the last two seasons. He was demoted to Omaha in April and posted a 6.34 ERA in 55 1⁄3 innings with 62 strikeouts over 12 starts. Alec Lewis of The Athletic wrote about Kowar has been trying to make adjustments to his delivery to improve his results.
In Double A, Kowar released the ball vertically toward 12 o’clock more often, which in turn would enhance his fastball by preventing it from dropping as much as the hitter might expect. At times in the past couple of years, his arm slot has fallen more toward 2 o’clock, which conversely applies more sidespin to the ball and negatively affects his fastball’s ability to produce swings-and-misses by removing the carry on the pitch.
All of this relates to fastball shape, which is pivotal in the context of what makes a fastball good.
He gave up just two hits and one run over five innings with eight strikeouts in his last outing on Tuesday, but gave up nine runs and exited in the fifth innings in his start before that. With the Royals having a full rotation already, Kowar will presumably pitch out of the bullpen, which could allow him to amp up his velocity and improve his results.
The Royals sent down Griffin and recalled Peacock after using five relievers to pitch 5 1⁄3 innings in Saturday’s loss to the Athletics. Griffin pitched 2⁄3 of an inning with a walk and a strikeout in that game, but had given up 6 hits, 4 walks, and 7 runs in 4 1⁄3 innings with the Royals this year. Peacock is recalled for the third time this year after being acquired from the Diamondbacks. He has yet to give up a run in 5 1⁄3 innings with the Royals, with 3 hits allowed, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
Staumont had not pitched since Tuesday’s outing against the Angels when he walked two of the three hitters he faced. He has a 3.81 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 26 innings. His stint on the Injured List is retroactive to June 23.