7: 15 PM UTC

KANSAS CITY — Bobby Witt Jr. left Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Rays with right hamstring tightness, the Royals announced, and he’s considered day to day as the club determines the injury’s severity and the next steps for the shortstop.

Witt poked an RBI single into right field in the first inning, then stole second base before tagging up to third on Hunter Dozier’s fly ball to right field. It was during that sprint to third that Witt may have suffered the injury; he winced slightly about halfway in between the bases.

The Royals said his removal was a “precaution.”

Witt’s health is of the utmost importance for the Royals’ future, and keeping him on the field in the second half of 2022 will allow them to take steps forward toward that future.

The 22-year-old phenom hit his team-leading 14th home run on Saturday and became the fourth Royals rookie to record a double, a home run and a stolen base in a game, joining Brett Phillips (Sept. 1, 2018), Carlos Beltran (April 28, 1999) and Phil Hiatt (June 9, 1993).

Before tagging up in the first inning Sunday, Witt recorded his 20th stolen base of the season, becoming the fourth Royals rookie to reach 20 stolen bases within the team’s first 95 games of a season, alongside Pat Kelly (1969), Willie Wilson (’78) and Tom Goodwin (’95).

Witt and Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez are the only players in the Majors with 10-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases. Both are considered frontrunners for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

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