With the days of expanding major league rosters to 40 players every September now gone, the single-most exciting personnel move KC Royals fans could hope for this month was the promotion of Bobby Witt Jr. But if the club wasn’t ready for that, bringing Nick Pratto to Kansas City probably would have sufficed.
The Royals, though, chose wisely and resisted the temptation to bring Witt or Pratto up. The club focused instead on giving pitcher Jackson Kowar and outfielder Kyle Isbel, rising stars who had brief stints with Kansas City earlier this season, second chances, and recently called up starter Jon Heasley for his first taste of the big leagues.
Now, another prospect not named Witt or Pratto is getting a late-season look. Among a series of other roster moves, the Royals summoned relief pitcher Dylan Coleman to the majors, adding him to the active and 40-man rosters in time for Monday’s road trip-opening doubleheader at Cleveland.
Coleman didn’t pitch Monday—Brady Singer’s complete game in the first game and a superb “bullpen game” effort in the nightcap rendered his appearance unnecessary—but his debut probably isn’t far off.
That’s because Coleman’s presence means more to the Royals than getting a quick look at a future bullpen piece. Bringing him up now supplements a pitching staff depleted by injuries. KC shut down Brad Keller just a few days ago, Wade Davis’ 2021 campaign ended Monday when the club moved him from the 10-day to 60-day Injured List, where he joined Richard Lovelady, Jakob Junis has been on the IL since Sept. 1, and Ronald Bolanos is on an injury rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha.
An excellent minor league season triggered Coleman’s call to the KC Royals.
Whenever it comes, Coleman’s debut will be closely watched. Kansas City’s 29th best prospect per MLB Pipeline, he earned his first trip to the majors by pitching well at Double-A and Triple-A this season.
His 1-1, 2.92 ERA record at Northwest Arkansas, an 18-game effort in which he struck out 37 (13.5 SO9), walked only five (1.8 BB9), and saved four games prompted the KC Royals to bump him up to Omaha in early July. Coleman went 4-0 with three saves and a 3.55 ERA in 27 appearances for the Storm Chasers, and he fanned 56 batters in 33 innings.
Coleman, who the Royals obtained as the player to be named later in last July’s trade that sent Trevor Rosenthal to the Padres in exchange initially for Edward Olivares, relies primarily on a high-90s, low-100s fastball and a slider. He just turned 25.
How much the Royals use him this season remains to be seen; including tonight’s game with Cleveland, the club has only 11 games left to play. Expect Coleman go get a few innings in before the campaign ends—that, and spring training, will help determine where he begins 2022.
Reliever Dylan Coleman should see major league action soon. His debut could come tonight when the KC Royals face Cleveland in a 5:10 p.m. CDT start at Progressive Field.