The Royals can’t seem to score lately so the obvious fix is to … fix the bullpen.
Herrera had struggled with command and the long ball in 2013 at the big league level. Entrusted with the setup role at the start of the year, he’s given up a gaudy eight homers in 20.1 innings pitched after giving up just four in 84.1 in 2012. He’s given up homers on 36.4% of his fly balls this year.
While his strikeouts are up (more batters are swinging and missing), he’s also walked more and at times his command has been off, especially with his fastball. Despite struggles, Herrera’s ERA sits at a not-good but not-catastrophic 4.87.
Yost said Herrera lost confidence: “In the back of his mind, that thought of giving up a homer every time he threw a fastball was there.”
— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) May 23, 2013
It should be better though, and Herrera may need a mental break to refine his control and make any adjustments. He’s given up more fly balls and less fly balls than he had in 2012 and early guesses by the Royals suggested he may have been tipping his pitches.
Taking his spot on the active roster is Louis Coleman. Despite 12.1 strong innings in spring training and a respectable major league resume, Coleman was a victim of roster logistics and sent to Omaha in favor of J.C. Gutierrez, who was out of options. In 26.1 innings for Omaha, Coleman had a 1.03 ERA and a 30/9 K/BB ratio. As a big leaguer, Coleman has a career 3.25 ERA in 110.2 innings pitched, all out of the bullpen.
Coleman is the 28th player used by the Royals in 2013 and the 14th pitcher. This is the first performance-based move the Royals have made after Will Smith came up as the 26th man for two double headers and David Lough was called up to replace Jarrod Dyson when he went on the disabled list.