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

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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.

Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
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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.