NEW YORK -- The Royals saw their bullpen work hard on Sunday, so they made the natural decision to call up a new arm for Monday's series opener against the Yankees. Kansas City recalled Louis Coleman from Triple-A Omaha and optioned Will Smith back down to their top affiliate.
Coleman, recently named an All-Star in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, found himself with an even better reward. The 27-year-old right-hander had a 3-2 record and a 1.61 ERA for Omaha, and he's posted a 2-4 record and a 3.13 ERA in 94 appearances in the Major Leagues for the Royals.
"It's just a surprise. Everybody's been pitching well," he said of rejoining the Royals. "The All-Star Game is cool and you never want to miss it, but getting a promotion is a good excuse."
Kansas City's bullpen has thrown the fewest amount of innings (231 1/3) in the Major Leagues this season, and Coleman's presence should help keep everyone fresh. Last year, the Royals saw their bullpen get overworked, throwing more innings than any other staff in the American League.
Coleman, a former fifth-round draftee out of Louisiana State University, made four scoreless appearances for the Royals earlier this season. Bruce Chen and Smith both pitched at least three innings in Sunday's game, and the Royals wanted Coleman for extra flexibility.
"He was throwing the ball good. We just needed an arm," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "We had a day yesterday where we used three guys, and pitch counts got up so that all three of them were going to be unavailable for the next three days. We didn't want to come in here short."
Smith, 23 years old, allowed three earned runs in Sunday's loss. He notched a 1-1 record and a 3.86 ERA in six appearances this year and now has a career 5.09 ERA in the Majors. Smith was 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA in 17 games for Omaha prior to his promotion.
"It was the same as it was when I was up here last year," said Smith of his big league experience. "You have a good time out here. You compete against the best in the world every day."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less