03/20/12 9:42 PM ET
Houston GM says 'key component' to complete trade
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
No one was saying, but Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was making that part of the trade sound very intriguing.
"I can't really disclose when we're going to do it, but all I can really say on that is the player to be named later is a key component to this deal," Luhnow told reporters in Kissimmee, Fla.
In the trade that brought them catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois, the Royals gave up a promising left-handed reliever in Kevin Chapman.
"He's a prospect for us and he's adding to our organizational depth at the Minor League level," Luhnow said. "I don't know if he's a Double-A or Triple-A guy this year, but he's not Major League-ready. He's a guy down the road that could be an elite left-handed pitcher, and that's a valuable commodity to have."
So, too, apparently is the "key component" to be named.
Yost impressed with Paulino's latest outing
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Felipe Paulino served notice on Tuesday that he's in the thick of the battle for the Royals' rotation.
He worked the first four innings of a 6-4 victory over the Angels and gave up one run in an impressive outing. He threw 54 pitches, including 40 strikes, and fanned four batters (Albert Pujols twice) with no walks -- nice numbers for a guy who has had control issues in the past.
"All my pitches worked great today," Paulino said. "The good thing was, I mixed my pitches pretty well today and that's what I was looking for. It seemed like a nice step for Spring Training and I'm trying to be ready because we're getting close to getting the season started."
In fact, the last day of camp is just two weeks away.
Paulino called this outing the best of his three in the Cactus League so far.
"He threw really well, commanded the ball, had good stuff, kept the ball down and got through four innings pretty efficiently," manager Ned Yost said. "I thought he threw the ball extremely well."
A competitor who has had a rousing camp so far, right-hander Luis Mendoza, gets his next audition for the rotation on Wednesday against the Oakland A's. Mendoza has permitted just one run in his 10 2/3 innings.
Royals can't hit Wilson, hope to miss him again
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Will the Royals see left-hander C.J. Wilson in the season-opening series at Anaheim? Good question.
Perhaps they'd rather skip that pleasure, considering how he looked in his five shutout innings in Tuesday's game, which the Angels wound up losing, 6-4. Wilson registered five strikeouts, holding the Royals to three hits.
"He was really, really sharp," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The ball was exploding out of his hand. I kept looking up there at the radar gun and I thought, 'Gee, that looks 95, 96 [mph]' and it was 92. But it had tons of life on it. He kept the ball down and worked both sides of the plate extremely well. He was tough -- they've got some starting pitching over there, for sure."
During his career with the Rangers, Wilson never lost to the Royals. In 13 regular-season games, he was 3-0 with one save and a 2.34 ERA against them.
"He's got a really good cutter," the Royals' Billy Butler said. "For right-handed hitters, it's really tough. He locates it well and pounds you in. He locates the two-seam fastball and can run it back, too, so you've got balls moving both ways. He was working on a changeup and has a good one."
At least the Royals were able to pounce on Angels closer Jordan Walden for four runs in the sixth inning. He's been tough, too, on the Royals in his short career -- they've never scored against him in four regular-season games and he has seven strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
"It was nice to see us come alive right there against their closer," Yost said.
Chances are good that they'll see Walden in the season-opening series, but what about Wilson? Nothing is certain but right now it appears that he might be not be starting until the Angels' fourth game -- against the Minnesota Twins. The Royals will be watching those pitching probables with interest.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.