David Aardsma to begin rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A

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David Aardsma’s comeback from January hip surgery will take a big step tonight when he begins a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Aardsma will likely be asked to make three or four rehab appearances before a return from the disabled list is considered, which means the closer could be back by the end of the month.

Seattle looks headed for another last-place season, so assuming Aardsma pitches reasonably well upon returning and can stay healthy the Mariners will almost surely renew their efforts to trade him. Fill-in closer Brandon League has converted all three of his save chances in Aardsma’s absence.

Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list

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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.

Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.

Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.