Royals designate Maxwell for assignment, bring up RHP Coleman
MAY 16, 2014 5:34p ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- All through spring training and for most of this season, the Royals justified the notion of an oddly-shaped roster (at times no reserve middle infielder) because they felt it necessary to keep value in fifth outfielder Justin Maxwell.
The Royals finally parted with that value Friday when they designated Maxwell for assignment, meaning the Royals will have 10 days to either trade him or release him. It would seem unlikely that Maxwell, 30, will clear waivers, which would allow the Royals to outright him to Triple-A.
To replace Maxwell on the 25-man roster, the Royals selected the contract of right-hander Casey Coleman from Triple-A Omaha. Coleman had been signed in mid-April after his release from the Chicago Cubs.
It was never any secret that manager Ned Yost held Maxwell in high regards and often said that Maxwell could be an everyday player if given an extended chance.
But that chance didn't materialize with the Royals, especially after they traded for right fielder Nori Aoki in the off-season. Instead, finding playing time for Maxwell became a task -- he appeared in just 16 games and was only four for 29 (.138).
"We're going to miss him," Yost said. "It was really tough to find him at bats."
Yost and the Royals, though, simply had little choice but to part with Maxwell.
"Did you see the game (Thursday) night?" Yost asked reporters. "Anything about that game strike you as odd? If we had tied that game in the ninth, I was down to one pitcher, Holly (Greg Holland). After that, maybe we could have used Danny Duffy, but then we'd have been looking for a starter Saturday."
The Royals have been carrying 11 pitchers since they sent right-hander Michael Mariot back to Omaha on May 9 and recalled Johnny Giavotella.
When Omar Infante was put on the disabled list earlier this week, the Royals brought up middle infielder Pedro Ciriaco instead of a pitcher because they needed protection for shortstop Alcides Escobar.
"We held on as long as we could (with 11 pitchers)," Yost said. "But we simply had to have another arm here."
Yost also has been handicapped because setup man Wade Davis has been unavailable the past two days because of a strained neck.
Maxwell will be remembered for his game-winning homer to beat the Mets in an extra-inning game last August, and, of course, his walk-off grand slam in the final home game of the season last year.
Coleman, 26, is a third-generation big leaguer. His father, Joe, was a pitcher and won 142 games from 1965-79, primarily pitching for the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers. His grandfather, also Joe, won 52 games as a pitcher mostly for the Philadelphia A's from 1942-55.
Casey Coleman is believed to be the first "Casey" to play for the Royals.
"I'm just happy to be getting this chance," he said. "I didn't get to a big-league camp this spring and then when you get designated (for assignment by the Cubs), you start to have your doubts. But you have to stay positive."
Coleman had a 1.50 ERA in seven relief appearances for Omaha. He throws a fastball (94-95 mph), curve, slider and change.
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter @jflanagankc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.