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Royals place reliever Louis Coleman on waivers

The roster begins to come into focus.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have placed right-handed reliever Louis Coleman on waivers, according to Jeffrey Flanagan. Coleman was in a battle for the last bullpen spot with Ryan Madson and Brian Flynn, but appears to have lost out on a job. Coleman had a 3.55 ERA in Arizona with 15 strikeouts and no walks in 12 2/3 innings of work. Coleman is out of options, and must be exposed to waivers in order to send him to Omaha.

Coleman, who will turn 29 this weekend, struggled last year with a 5.56 ERA in 34 innings, and spent much of last season in Omaha. For his career he has been a decent long-man and right-handed specialist, with a 3.25 ERA in 174 1/3 big league innings, with well over a strikeout per innings in his career. Originally a fifth-round pick out of LSU in 2009, Coleman has spent his entire career with the Royals, coming up to the big leagues in 2011.

Coleman was arbitration-eligible for the first time this off-season, and was tendered a contract last year, signing for $725,000. By releasing him before the season, the Royals are obligated to pay just one-quarter of his salary, or $181,000 if he goes unclaimed and they can send him to Omaha.

The Royals will now decide whether or not to keep Ryan Madson, who has an agreement to be let go should he get a better opportunity elsewhere, or Brian Flynn, who has options remaining. The Royals may decide to keep both and not keep a fourth bench player, to ease Madson back into action after missing years with injury.