Phil Hughes pushed back due to back spasms

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From Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News comes word that Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes has been scratched from his scheduled Monday start against the Twins due to back spams.

Hughes’ back locked up on him Friday after he threw a routine bullpen session in Toronto. He rested all day Saturday and will try to play catch before Sunday’s series finale with the Blue Jays. If that workout goes well, the 25-year-old should be cleared to take the mound Tuesday for the opening of a big four-game series against the surging Rays.

A.J. Burnett will start Monday’s makeup game with Minnesota in Hughes’ place.

Hughes has registered a 6.00 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 45/24 K/BB ratio through 72 innings this season.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.