Relief pitcher Josh Staumont told reporters that the one-day injured list stint he had last week was because of side effects he experienced after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The right-hander fell ill with the virus before Spring Training started, delaying his entry to camp, and it hit him hard, causing him to lose weight as well as his strength and stamina that he’s had to build back up over time.
After receiving the vaccine, Staumont said he didn’t sleep and had a high fever the next day -- common side effects as the body builds protection -- so the Royals were able to put him on the COVID-19-related IL, allowing them to activate him before the standard 10 days required under normal circumstances.
“I’ve been so thankful for how they’re handling it and handling this whole COVID-19 thing going back to last year,” Staumont said. “As I get vaccinated, we’ll be [ready to go]. I’m glad I could get that day. But that’s all it was.”
The Royals have also eased Staumont into his workload this season as he builds up his strength, giving him multiple innings and then a day off, or back-to-back days and then a day off. He still remains an important piece of the bullpen puzzle; on Sunday, he shut down the top of the Blue Jays' order, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., quickly and efficiently after the Royals had taken the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. That came after a scoreless inning on Saturday.
“I’ve been super thankful for how they’ve handled me coming into the season,” Staumont said. “I didn’t get the traditional Spring Training baptism, so getting back into it allowed me to get my feet under me. … As it goes, it’s going to get better. I’m thankful that they trust me to do that. And moving forward, we’re ready. We’re feeling good, too.”
It will still be some time before the Royals see shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (right oblique strain) and reliever Jesse Hahn (right shoulder impingement), but both are making positive progress with their recovery.
Royals manager Mike Matheny said Mondesi is starting to do more controlled activity than just the rest that was prescribed when he first hit the IL before Opening Day. Swinging is still off limits for him, but once he’s able to take swings, there will be more of a timeline for his return.
“This is going to be still controlled movements for awhile,” Matheny said. “This is such a violent action when you’re talking about a swing. It takes some time, so I wouldn’t imagine that I’ll be giving you any good, meaty information here for a bit.”
Hahn, who was placed on the IL last Monday, has been getting work in on the field, but his return is still unknown, too.
“He’s been getting a lot of work and moving around pretty good, so I’m hopeful he’s not too far away,” Matheny said.