You can say one thing about Ned Yost: he likes to get the new guys into action in a hurry. Reliever Louis Coleman, called up to Kansas City yesterday morning found himself pitching in a 2-1 game that the Royals really, really needed to win not more than eight hours later.
After Sean O’Sullivan allowed a single to lead off the seventh (by the way, Sean Freaking O’Sullivan! And I mean that in a good way), Yost called for Coleman, who threw three fastballs to Adam Everett before striking him out with a slider. Next up was the red hot Grady Sizemore, who took a cut at the first pitch and flied out. Asdrubal Cabrera saw two fastballs and then fouled out to Alex Gordon on a cutter. That is a pretty nice major league debut.
To be fair, Coleman’s eight inning was not as spectacular and he left with a clean slate thanks to game hero Melky Cabrera and catcher Matt Treanor teaming up to cut down yet another run at home plate. Still, good fortune looks exactly the same as dominance the next morning in the box score and I saw plenty in the twenty-four pitches Coleman threw last night to think this is another rookie who could stake a long-term claim to a setup role.
Speaking of dominance, Coleman’s fellow 2009 draftee Aaron Crow continues to roll along. He allowed a double to Grady Sizemore in the 9th, but nothing else as he remains perfect on this young season. Again, we will have to revisit the ‘Crow as a starter argument’, but what he has brought to the table in a late innings role makes one wonder what the value is of a lock-down set-up reliever versus an average starting pitcher.
I am not sure the Royals have any intention of ever moving Crow out of the bullpen, but I am certain they will keep him right where he is until this team falls out of contention. I agree with that plan of action.
Whomever pitches out of the bullpen this weekend in Texas will get a severe test against the Rangers’ powerful lineup. Rightly or wrongly, I am excited to see it instead of dreading what might happen.