Mendoza likely to switch to long-man role

Mendoza likely to switch to long-man role

DETROIT -- If Felipe Paulino is cleared to start the third game of the Yankees series, he'll take Luis Mendoza's spot in the Royals' rotation.

And if Paulino is activated on Saturday, the Royals will be dropping one of the 13 current pitchers. One influencing factor will be manager Ned Yost's preference to have two relievers who can go long distance in innings.

A big reason is that going into Tuesday night's game, the Royals' starting pitchers had combined for the fewest total innings of any rotation in the Major Leagues with 106. Cleveland had the next fewest with 116 1/3.

"I've got to have two [long men] right now the way our pitching staff's going," Yost said.

For now, his long men are Mendoza and Nate Adcock, who threw 5 1/3 innings and 93 pitches on Sunday.

"We need to get more depth out of our starting rotation," Yost said.