KANSAS CITY -- Perhaps it's fitting that the position of Royals bullpen coach is being treated like an actual 'pen.
Steve Foster was named a special assistant to the general manager and Minor League pitching coordinator last week. Senior pitching advisor Bill Fischer came out of the bullpen to relieve Foster as Royals 'pen coach for three days before Larry Carter, the pitching coach at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, took over on Tuesday after the Naturals' season came to a close.
In his 11 seasons at Double-A, Carter has coached many of the current Royals pitchers, including Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith and Everett Teaford.
"I've been around a bunch of these guys, most everybody in here anyway, for quite some time," Carter said. "I've seen them come through the Minor Leagues or have been a part of everything that these guys have gone through. So it's good to be up here and be around these guys. It's good to be back up here in the Major Leagues and get some experience just trying to help out anyway I can, really. No matter what that is or what [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] needs or what [manager] Ned [Yost] needs or just really anybody. Just anything I can do to help these guys up here and win."
Adjusting to his new role won't be an issue, as he's been around many of the players before, as well as many of the coaches when he was at big league camp in the spring. He said, though, that he might just try to let the Royals' bullpen keep doing what it's been doing for much of this season.
"They're all so young, but they're all so confident. They're all so energetic, and they're all just great guys," Carter said. "It's good to be around them again and be a part of it. I just want to stay out of their way. Anything I can do to help, though, I'm here to help."
Channeling his inner reliever, Carter is just playing setup man. Doug Henry, the pitching coach at Triple-A Omaha, will take over sometime after the Storm Chasers' season concludes.