KC Royals lose Keller and Dyson, add Staumont and Olivares

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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller throws against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning on Friday, August 20, 2021, at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

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Starting pitcher Brad Keller and veteran outfielder Jarrod Dyson had been mainstays of the Kansas City Royals roster since opening day, but on Friday night neither was on the club’s active roster before the game two of a four-game set in Seattle.

Dyson, who turned 37 on Aug. 15, will bring his mark of high-energy speed and defensive prowess to a Toronto Blue Jays club that entered Friday night’s games 5 1/2 in a wildcard spot. The Blue Jays claimed Dyson on waivers.

Meanwhile, Keller’s absence came with much more anguish as the Royals placed him on the 10-day IL with right lat tension a day after leaving his start in the middle of the fifth inning. due to shoulder pain.

Royals reinstated right-handed reliever Josh Staumont from the injured list and recalled outfielder Edward Olivares to fill the spots left vacant by Keller’s injury and Dyson’s transfer to the Blue Jays.

Keller, the club’s opening day starter in two of the past three seasons, has been officially placed on the IL with a straight lat strain.

Keller struggled with command in the first inning of his start Thursday night against the Mariners, but he made it through the second and third innings with a total of 19 shots as he struck out six straight batters.

However, he felt a pain in his shoulder in the fourth inning and tried to cross until manager Mike Matheny and head coach Nick Kenney came out to the mound with an out in the fifth inning.

“I watched this first run to try to understand if there is something physically going on here that doesn’t allow him to make the shots he normally would,” said Matheny. “Life always looked good. His previous few starts looked good. There was nothing leading in that direction. Then luckily Nick saw something in that fifth that said there was something going on here, let’s talk to him.

Keller was tied for the team lead in wins (eight) and starts (26) on Friday. He had gone 8-12 with a 5.39 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 120 strikeouts and 64 walks in 133 2/3 innings.

The Royals were using a six pitching rotation. Staumont’s return gives them for the moment an additional enclosure arm. They will still have Kris Bubic, Carlos Hernández, Daniel Lynch, Brad Singer and Mike Minor as starters.

Staumont only spent one day on the IL for some undisclosed reason. The passage of one day indicates that his change in status was linked to the coronavirus. MLB has created a separate COVID-19 injured list that has no minimum duration. This applies to players who have contracted the virus as well as to those who have shown symptoms or had close contact with an infected person.

Olivares, who the Royals acquired from the San Diego Padres last summer, has been recalled for the sixth time this season.

This season with Triple-A Omaha, Olivares is down 0.298 / .370 / .524 with 11 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 46 runs scored in 63 games.

In his 20 major games this season leading up to Friday night, Olivares was down .246 / .283 / .456 with four homers, six RBIs and two stolen goals.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. Originally from the North East, he has covered high school, college and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has won awards for sports reports and sports columns.


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