KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Felipe Paulino pitched well at the Royals' extended Spring Training camp on Friday and is close to a Minor League rehab assignment.

Paulino pitched three innings at Surprise, Ariz., and appeared ready to join Northwest Arkansas in the Double-A Texas League.

"He got his fastball up to 99, his comfort zone was 96," manager Ned Yost said.

Paulino went on the disabled list late in Spring Training with a strain of the right forearm, taking him out of the battle with Luis Mendoza for a starting role.

Second-base rotation paying dividends

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost is in the enviable position of having two second basemen performing well. Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt each started six of the first 12 games.

"Yuni's swinging the bat really well with the threat for the long ball, Getzy's driving the gaps, getting on base. They're both playing great defense," Yost said.

Getz's career has revolved around his excellent defensive work at second base. Betancourt has been a shortstop previously in his big league career. Could he be better at second base?

"The answer to that might be yes," Yost said. "He's very good over there."

The presence of the left-handed and sharp-fielding Eric Hosmer at first base next to Betancourt probably helps him.

"Yuni's got more range up the middle than he does in the 3-4 hole and it helps that Hoz is over there," Yost said.

Going into Friday night's series opener against the Blue Jays, Betancourt was hitting .320, Getz .292.

"It's not a platoon thing, because if it was, Getzy'd be playing against right-handers. So I just kind of go day-to-day," Yost said.

Betancourt, the right-handed bat of the two, started on Friday night against right-hander Kyle Drabek and had the only homer among the two entering the night, but Getz has been showing significant pop this year.

"If I broke down every at-bat, a lot of the outs have been solidly hit. Just sensing where I'm at offensively, I'm in a good place," Getz said.

Getz made some changes in his left-handed swing over the winter and the ball has been jumping off his bat.

"It's in there," he said. "Sometimes you've just got to tap into it."

Cain almost ready for rehab assignment

KANSAS CITY -- Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, out since April 11 with a left groin strain, is about ready to go on an injury rehabilitation assignment to the Minors.

"It's coming along pretty good," Cain said on Friday. "I've been running the last few days and feeling pretty good right now. Maybe leave tomorrow or Sunday to head to Arkansas and get some rehab games in. I'll be a Natural for a little bit."

That's the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals, currently playing in Little Rock and due back home in Springdale, Ark., on Monday.

"I wouldn't say a hundred percent, but I'm very close to it," Cain said. "Hopefully it'll continue to feel good and I can get back up here as soon as possible."

Cain played just five games before being injured running into the center field wall at Oakland while making a difficult catch. He was batting .133 (2-for-15) after being one of the Majors' top hitters in Spring Training.

"I took about a week and a half off, so I've definitely got to back into it and get the swing right again," he said.

Cain ran through and passed several tests during Thursday's off-day. He'll be eligible to come off the disabled list next Thursday.

Royals deal Miner back to Tigers for cash

KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Zach Miner is back with the Detroit Tigers.

The Royals dealt Miner to the Tigers for cash in a Minor League transaction on Friday. Signed as a free agent, he was a non-roster player in the Royals' Major League Spring Training camp the past two years after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery in 2010.

Miner pitched for Detroit for four seasons from 2006-09, compiling a 25-20 record and 4.24 ERA in 157 games, including 35 starts.

After being assigned to Triple-A Omaha in Spring Training, Miner remained in Kansas City's extended spring training camp and had not pitched in the Minors. He had a clause in his contract which enabled him to ask for his release if he was not on the Major League roster by May 15. In 2011, Miner pitched for the Royals' clubs at Double-A Northwest Arkansas (1-6, 7.16 ERA in 11 games) and Triple-A Omaha (2-1, 1.59 ERA in 12 games). The Tigers assigned Miner to Double-A Erie.