9/2/2013 5:34 P.M. ET
Omaha heads to PCL American Conference Finals
By Dick Kaegel and Kathleen Gier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- With an 8-4 victory against Round Rock on Monday, Triple-A Omaha clinched its third consecutive Pacific Coast League American Northern Division title.
Carlos Pena went 3-for-4 with one home run and four RBIs in the victory, and left-hander John Lamb pitched five innings for the victory and Michael Mariot got the save.
Omaha (70-74) will take on Oklahoma City (82-62) in Game 1 of the PCL American Conference Finals at 7:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday in Oklahoma City. They will play a best-of-five series.
The Storm Chasers entered Monday's game tied with the Memphis Redbirds, who lost to Oklahoma City. The game will delay some, if not all, of the Royals' additional September callups.
Paulino shut down for season due to shoulder issue
KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino's season is over following another setback in his rehabilitation.
While recovering from last season's Tommy John surgery, Paulino has battled shoulder and back stiffness. Now, it's shoulder inflammation.
"His shoulder got inflamed again, and there's not enough time left," manager Ned Yost said. "He'll be fine. He just had some shoulder inflammation. It's just a little setback, it doesn't have anything to do with his elbow."
Paulino started two rehabilitation games in Double-A Northwest Arkansas before returning to Kansas City to meet with doctors because he was experiencing back stiffness. While he was in Kansas City, he was also treated for shoulder stiffness, but started five games with Triple-A Omaha in August, going 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA.
"It's been a long rehab," Paulino said. "I've been working on my elbow, and my elbow's fine. I'm happy with my elbow, but my shoulder is the thing right now. I've got bad inflammation there, and the only way to get it down is to shut it down completely."
Paulino said he'd been fighting the pain in his shoulder for a couple days before the team decided to shut him down.
"It's tough," Paulino said. "Before I tried to say that I would be OK, and I just tried to make it by myself and tried to be positive that everything was going to change sometime, but unfortunately it didn't get better."
He is hoping to start pitching again this November and playing winter ball in Venezuela.
"I feel bad for myself and I feel bad for the team, because I pushed myself to help and show everybody I could be back, but I can't right now. I have to listen to my body, and my body told me I can't go right now," Paulino said. "I'm hungry to pitch. I want to pitch, and that is my goal right now."
Cain running, hitting as he works back from injury
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Lorenzo Cain said he is day to day as he recovers from an oblique strain that sidelined him on Aug. 10.
He worked on outfield drills, baserunning, throwing and hitting in the cage on Monday.
"I didn't feel it at all after the running drills. It's just getting the hitting together right now, the timing," Cain said.
Cain sustained the injury in batting practice on Aug. 9, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next morning. He was batting .261 in 96 games before getting hurt.
Yost would prefer revision to callup rule
KANSAS CITY -- Put Royals manager Ned Yost among the baseball folks who feel the current rule on September callups needs a bit of revising.
"I think they should tweak it. I think there should be a limited number of players that you can use on your roster, and you can change it day to day," Yost said.
The current rule permits clubs to call up players on their 40-man roster, inflating the 25-man active rosters from Sept. 1 through the end of the regular season. The idea is to give competing teams additional talent for the stretch run, or, in the case of non-contenders, to allow them a chance to view up-and-coming Minor Leaguers.
There's concern, though, that it makes for an uneven playing field at a crucial time of year. One manager with 29 players might have to try to ponder the moves that another manager with 35 players could make. It's been pointed out that Tony La Russa, when managing the Cardinals, stocked up with so many pitchers that he could switch according to lefty-right matchups continuously.
A solution would be to allow callups, but limit the roster to a specified number each day for a team.
"It's got to be more than 25," Yost said. "If it's 30 or 28 or 29 -- I don't know what the number is. It's not up to me to decide, but I think it ought to be consistent, and both teams ought to have the same number of players."
Three KC prospects named Pioneer League All-Stars
KANSAS CITY -- Patrick Conroy, Zane Evans and Carlos Garcia of the Idaho Falls Chukars were named to the 2013 Pioneer League All-Star team.
Conroy, a left-hander selected in the 32nd round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, is 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA through 12 games. He has 61 strikeouts and 32 walks in 66 innings for the Chukars. Entering Monday, his ERA ranks third in the league.
Evans, a catcher selected in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft, is batting .352 through 41 games with four home runs and 31 RBIs.
Garcia, a second baseman who signed with the Royals in 2008 as a non-drafted free agent, is batting .330 after 60 games with two home runs and 33 RBIs.
Mariners-Royals series coming late in season
KANSAS CITY -- It's not often that two teams meet for the first time in September, but this season that's the case for the Royals and Mariners.
After their four-game series in Kansas City, the Royals and Mariners will meet in Seattle for three games starting Sept. 23.
"It's definitely odd, but with the new Interleague schedule and all that, I guess teams have to do that," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We see these guys in Spring Training a lot, so it's not completely new."
This is the latest that Seattle has met an American League opponent for the first time, discounting the strike-interrupted 1981 season. Previously, the latest they'd faced an AL team was Aug. 17, 2004, when they also faced the Mariners.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.