Jaime Garcia throws two innings in comeback from shoulder injury

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As soon as Jaime Garcia opted for rest and rehab instead of surgery there were questions about how his shoulder would hold up this season, but the Cardinals left-hander took a big step in his recovery yesterday.

Garcia tossed two shutout innings against the Red Sox and afterward told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “it went real well.”

Garcia threw 43 pitches in two innings, so it wasn’t exactly a smooth outing, but as manager Mike Matheny told Goold: “I’m not dissecting everything he’s doing … I’m just watching him go out there and do his thing.”

Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.