KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are slowly getting back to full strength.
Right-hander Felipe Paulino will return from the disabled list on Saturday and start for the Royals against the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium.
Paulino, sidelined since the end of Spring Training with a right forearm sprain, said that he feels like he can do all the things he could before the injury and that he's glad to be back.
"That's what I've been working on in the Minor Leagues, trying to be a good pitcher, strike people out, throw 100 pitches, plus," Paulino said. "But now, I believe by myself that I can do this. The good thing is that I'm back to the mound."
A deep first outing from Paulino would benefit the Royals, who have seen starters exit early far too often this season.
"We haven't been getting a lot of deep games from our starting rotation," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Our bullpen guys are pitching a little more than I hoped that they would pitch to this time, but it is what it is, and you just deal with it."
Facing the power-laden Yankees lineup isn't necessarily the easiest task for a pitcher making his first start of the season, but Paulino is ready for the challenge.
"I'm going to try to do my job," Paulino said. "It's the Yankees, but I'll take it like any other team. I'll just go up there with my game plan and do the best I can do to give a chance to the Royals to win the game."