The Royals announced that Felipe Paulino would begin the year on the 15-day disabled list. The right-hander had been part of a six man battle for a five man pitching rotation.
This news comes a day after Ned Yost announced that Bruce Chen would be the opening day starter in Anaheim against the Angels. Luke Hochevar and Jonathan Sanchez will slot in behind him and after the injury, Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy fill in the last two spots.
Paulino worked 11.2 innings in spring, allowing 10 runs and 16 hits. The Royals have the option to backdate his DL stint to Monday. The injury itself is called a “right forearm flexor pronator strain” and Paulino said he felt some tightness.
Of course, this could be an easy fix to stash a pitcher in Omaha to get some rehab starts. I’m sure there is some tightness there, but with Chen, Hochevar and Sanchez locks to make the rotation and Duffy showing some success (and Mendoza’s solid spring numbers), Paulino was looking like a pitcher headed to the bullpen for a long relief role which really doesn’t suit him, as he’s struggled in the bullpen in the past (9.15 ERA in 39.1 innings). Buying time with Paulino on the DL and in Omaha for rehab gives the Royals a chance to evaluate a few turns through the pitching staff and move forward based on how everyone is performing.