The Royals announced today that RHP Louis Coleman (#16 in the Kings of Kauffman Prospect Rankings) will be promoted from Omaha to Kansas City, where he’ll wear 46 on his jersey. He’ll take the place of RHP Kanekoa Texeira, who has been optioned to Omaha.
While it was seemingly a sudden move, the demotion of Texeira makes some sense. Even with an ERA of 2.84, Texeira has given up 13 hits in 6.1 innings so far while compiling a ripe WHIP of 2.526. While he has potential as a solid middle reliever, he has had a rough start to 2011. It’s been considerably worse than his 2010 campaign, so this move makes sense.
Now, about Coleman.
Louis Coleman is a reliever out of LSU, as his prospect profile (linked above) states. He is 25 and has progressed reasonably quickly through the Royals’ farm system. In 2011, Coleman struck out the first six batters he faced over his first two appearances. He’s allowed four hits in seven innings and already has a K:BB ratio of 4:1 with 16 strikeouts. For those counting at home, that adds up to 20.6 strikeouts per nine innings. Though he’s given up three earned runs, he’s mostly been in control for Omaha so far.
What Coleman brings to the Royals is someone to replace the recently-injured Robinson Tejeda. Coleman has the pure stuff to be able to fill in as a setup man and has been the closer for Omaha to start this season. When I watched him pitch in a Spring Training broadcast, his stuff was simply nasty. He kept batters off balance and pitched effectively in almost all, if not all, of his appearances. He had a legitimate shot to make the team out of Spring Training.
I guess it just took a little longer.
Add Coleman to the list of exciting rookie relievers in the Royals’ bullpen. He can give Crow and Collins some rest, as all three have the potential to come in to shut down the opposing team in late innings. It should make for an extremely exciting group.