Kolarek pitched two scoreless innings on Tuesday, and has yet to allow a run in 5⅓ innings over his five appearances, with three strikeouts. It was his only game appearance in the last 12 days.
He is the odd man out on a bullpen that has been remarkably effective in the early going. In a bullpen that has three other left-handed pitchers that have historically been reasonably effective against right-handed batters, Kolarek’s extreme career splits stand out.
In 103 major league innings, Kolarek has neutralized left-handed batters to the tune of .197/.239/.275, with a 19-percent strikeout rate and a 2.1-percent walk rate. Right-handers though have hit .296/.363/.468 with a 14.5-percent strikeout rate and 8.7-percent walk rate.
Kolarek was optioned last Thursday when rosters trimmed from 30 to 28 players, but he returned on Monday when Joe Kelly was placed on the injured list. They’ve been working with Kolarek on his arm slot.
“We’ve challenged him on on getting more right handers this year,” manager Dave Roberts said last week. “I think early on, we were trying to get his arm up to get the right-handers and then down below to get the lefties, and it affected his command a little bit from down below.”