Roman Colon made stops in the minor leagues, Dominican Republic and even, briefly, in Korea after his last stint with the Royals in 2010.
By JAYSON JENKS
Special to The Star
Now, with the bullpen depleted even further after working six innings in Wednesday’s 4-3 extra-inning win, Colon is back once more after receiving his promotion Thursday morning at the Omaha airport.
The Royals bought Colon’s contract from Class AAA Omaha and cleared space by sending down first baseman Clint Robinson, who went hitless in four at-bats.
“I didn’t feel like I went away,” said Colon, 32. “I think I’m still home. This is home for me. The Kansas City Royals have been showing a lot to me, so here I am again, and I’m going to try to make it happen again.”
Colon offers immediate aid to a bullpen that leads the majors in innings pitched. Plus, as manager Ned Yost said, the right-handed Colon provides another option against the righty-heavy lineup of the Brewers.
Yost said relievers Greg Holland and Aaron Crow were unavailable Thursday after pitching consecutive days.
“I have burnt the bullpen up to a crisp the last two days,” Yost said.
Colon played with the Royals in 2009 and briefly in 2010, going 2-3 with a 5.33 ERA during that span.
For his career, Colon is 8-10 with a 5.12 ERA.
Yet Colon’s stay in the majors could be short. The Royals return to playing under National League rules today, which means the club could use another bat off the bench. Irving Falu and David Lough are likely candidates.
“We told Colon, ‘We don’t know how long it’s going to be,’ ” Yost said. “It could be for a day, it could be for two days, it could be for three days, but we’ve got to get our bullpen back in shape before we make another move.”
A night of ejections
Jeff Francoeur was ejected in the second inning Thursday for arguing a called third strike. The pitch was close, though replays showed it may have been a little inside. It was Francoeur’s fifth ejection of his career with his last coming on April 24 last year.
Yost was ejected in the fourth after arguing whether a bunt attempt by Nyjer Morgan hit Morgan outside of the batter’s box, which would have been an out. It was Yost’s 27th career ejection and first this season.
Either Butler or Hosmer
The experiment of using both Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer in the field is over. Yost confirmed that he will no longer play Butler at first and Hosmer in right field when playing at NL parks.
Yost used that alignment in Pittsburgh to get both bats in the lineup, but Hosmer and Butler each made mistakes at their positions.
“It really weakened our defense to the point that I think it cost us,” Yost said.
Instead, Yost said he will play either Butler or Hosmer at first and use the other as a pinch hitter. The Royals play three games apiece at St. Louis and Houston starting today.
Second-round pick signs
The Royals signed second-round pick Sam Selman, meaning the club has locked up its first 11 selections from this year’s draft.
Baseball America put Selman, a 21-year-old lefty from Vanderbilt, at No. 146 in their rankings of the draft’s top 500 prospects. He signed for $750,000, $31,600 less than Major League Baseball’s assigned slot bonus.
Selman is 6 feet 3, 185 pounds and throws his fastball in the low-90s, but scouts say his secondary pitches need work.
The Royals have now signed 28 of their 40 draft picks. The club gave out $5,990,000 in bonuses, coming in $111,500 under budget from the slot bonuses assigned by Major League Baseball.
• Danny Duffy had successful Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Duffy, the Royals’ 23-year-old lefty, even tweeted, albeit with his right hand. Duffy hasn’t pitched since May 13.
• John Lamb, 21, is scheduled to pitch the first week of July. It will mark his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. The Royals selected Lamb, a lefty, in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.
• Center fielder Lorenzo Cain leaves Sunday to begin a rehab assignment with Class AA Northwest Arkansas. Cain hasn’t played since April 10 because of a groin injury.
Tracking the Royals’ home attendance:
• Thursday: 21,869
• 2012 season (through 31 games): 680,163
• 2011 season (through 31 games): 588, 409
• Ahead: 113,623
• 2012 average: 22,646
• 2011 average: 18,981
To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Royals_Report.