hughes wide reuters

Phil Hughes shows improved velocity in impressive Double-A rehab start


Phil Hughes had a very encouraging rehab start today at Double-A, throwing 6.1 innings of one-run ball before leaving to what Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York described as “a standing ovation.”

Mazzeo reports that Hughes’ fastball was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour and topped 91 miles per hour 48 times, which is a big change from the 89.3 miles per hour he averaged prior to being shut down in mid-April with arm problems.

General manager Brian Cashman and other members of the Yankees’ front office were on hand for the performance, which included eight strikeouts and 20 swinging strikes. He’s scheduled to start next week at Triple-A and another impressive outing could get him back into the Yankees’ second-half plans.

John Farrell will return to manage Red Sox in 2016

John Farrell
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.

Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.

Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.

Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.

All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.

Piscotty returns to Cardinals lineup after concussion

Stephen Piscotty
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.

Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.

St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.