Felipe Paulino’s emergence atop the Royals’ rotation was halted by a groin injury, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the right-hander is slated to come off the disabled list on June 25.
Paulino was fantastic before the injury, starting seven games with a 1.67 ERA, and since the Royals picked him up from the Rockies last season he’s logged 162 innings with a 3.55 ERA and 158/63 K/BB ratio. Toss in his excellent fastball velocity and a track record full of impressive strikeout rates and the Royals may have found a diamond in the rough, assuming he can stay healthy.
Before rejoining the rotation next week he’ll have to avoid a setback while making a minor-league rehab start Wednesday at Double-A.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.