Coleman aims to be Major force in bullpen

Coleman aims to be Major force in bullpen

Coleman aims to be Major force in bullpen
DETROIT -- Royals reliever Louis Coleman is no stranger to packing his bags for a new destination. It's part of the gig being a valuable bullpen arm with Minor League options.

So understandably, the right-hander is excited that his latest move is back with Kansas City, after he was called up on Wednesday from Triple-A Omaha for the fourth time in his career.

Coleman struck out the side for the second outing in a row while working the eighth inning against the Tigers on Friday.

His previous appearance came on Wednesday in Toronto, where Coleman also recorded all three outs on strikeouts, while allowing one hit in one inning of relief.

"My arm feels good right now," Coleman said. "Sometimes you get in stretches where the ball runs sharper. You just get in that groove and go with it, and right now everything is feeling pretty good for me."

Going into Sunday's series finale, Coleman was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 appearances this year for Kansas City. He had 29 strikeouts and yielded 21 hits in 24 innings. For his career, Coleman is 1-4 with a 3.33 ERA in 67 games over two years.

Coleman was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and two saves at Omaha. However, the hard thrower also had 16 strikeouts and just four walks in seven innings. The 26-year-old is not trying to strike batters out, and in fact would sometimes prefer to get a "one- or two-pitch out."

Coleman did say that there is a different feel that he can get on the baseball based on the weather conditions.

"Every pitcher will experience different things, but a lot of the guys feel the ball doesn't move as much in a place like Arizona where the air is really dry," Coleman said. "When it's humid like it has been lately, you can get that extra tackiness on the ball and just that little extra grip can make a difference."

Manager Ned Yost said Coleman has traditionally been very effective against right-handers, and plans to use him in that capacity.

"He can help us eat up some innings," Yost said. "He has really good stuff."

As part of a deep bullpen, Coleman knows he will have to compete hard to maintain his spot on the Major League team. He admits that it can be a bit frustrating to move back and forth between Kansas City and Omaha, but he feels fortunate to be playing a game for a living.

"Me and Nate [Adcock], we're happy to be up here, but we know we are competing for a spot with everyone else. Yet it's great to be part of a team with so many great arms. If [closer Jonathan] Broxton has pitched a few games in a row, then really any of us out of the 'pen could step in and be a closer.

"My dad is a farmer [in his native Mississippi] and I know how hard of work that is. I am playing baseball for a living, so I feel blessed."