Felipe Paulino on track for June 25 return from groin injury

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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.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.