Kansas City Royals

Royals designate Wily Peralta for assignment and promote hard-throwing Josh Staumont

Royals relief pitcher Wily Peralta allowed three runs in the eighth inning in Cleveland of Friday night’s loss and that may have been the final straw for his tenure with the club.

The Royals designated Peralta for assignment on Saturday and recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Staumont from Triple-A Omaha.

Staumont, a former second-round pick (2015) out of Azusa Pacific University, will be the ninth player to make his major-league debut for the club this season. He features a fastball in the upper 90s that can touch 100 mph, but his command continues to be a concern at times.

Staumont, who got word of his promotion while still at the ballpark with his Triple-A squad, estimated he didn’t get packed and to the airport until almost 5 a.m. Saturday.

“I don’t think it has really hit me yet still,” Staumont said. “I think it’s more one of those things that happened and it was something you were super-excited for.

“I’ve been at Triple-A almost three seasons now, so I was always ready and at the time the timing didn’t work out. Now that I’m here and everything is kind of clicking, it just gave me a lot more time down there to work on what I needed to work on. I’m just excited now to keep going.”

Staumont, 25, has gone 1-5 with two saves and a 3.16 ERA (18 earned runs in 51 1/3 innings) in 32 games for Omaha. Twelve of his appearances have come as a “opener” at Triple-A as the organization has experimented with a relief pitcher starting games as opposed to the traditional starting pitcher model.

Staumont has 74 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings to post the best strikeout per nine innings (12.97) in the Pacific Coast League (minimum 50 innings pitched), but he has also walked 37 batters this season and WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 1.32.

“It’s time for him to get up here and start working through some of this up here,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Staumont. “... He’s going to walk some guys, but he’s going to strike some guys out too. Time to get him up here and get him under Cal (Eldred) and Vance (Wilson’s) tutelage. This is where you figure out what you need to do up here.”

Peralta, a former starting pitcher (46-50 with a 4.29 ERA in 120 starts in the majors), had been one of the few bright spots in the Royals bullpen last season. He finished 2018 having converted 14 of 14 save chances.

However, he’s been wildly inconsistent this season and has posted a 2-4 record with a 5.80 ERA (26 earned in 40 1/3 innings) in 23 appearances. Opponents batted .296 with 19 walks and 24 strikeouts against Peralta this season.

“We just got to the point where he really struggled to duplicate his mechanics and throw quality strikes,” Yost said. “Stuff was still pretty good. The mechanics just fluctuated from outing to outing. He just really struggled to create any consistency in his game.

“When you’ve got a veteran guy who is really struggling, it doesn’t make sense when you’ve got young guys who can come up here and feel their way through it. Keep moving forward with the young guys.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.
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