Paulino feeling better, close to game action

Paulino feeling better, close to game action

KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino threw a simulated game on Tuesday before batting practice as he recovers from a lower back strain. Paulino threw 65 pitches, including a couple to Hall of Famer and interim hitting coach George Brett, who had a hit.

"He gave me a hit," Paulino said. "He's in the Hall of Fame. It's great to face that guy."

Paulino is on the 60-day disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery last season, but had a recent setback with the back strain. He was brought to Kansas City to have it checked out by the team physicians.

"His stuff was really good," manager Ned Yost said. "Inconsistent with command a little bit, but you look for stuff right now and his stuff was really good."

Paulino said both his arm and back were feeling good and is hoping to return to games this weekend. He is playing for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he made one start. Paulino went five innings, allowing two hits, zero runs, two walks and recording six strikeouts.

"All my stuff is ready, all I need is to just compete," Paulino said. "I need to throw in some game situations and test my arm."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.