Phil Hughes throws first bullpen session since being shut down with bulging disk in back

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Phil Hughes was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his upper back not long after arriving to spring training, but he returned to the mound earlier this morning.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Hughes threw a 10-pitch bullpen session and reported no issues with his back. He’s scheduled to throw a longer one on Monday and will progress from there.

There’s no timetable for Hughes to throw in a game, so the Yankees are preparing for the possibility that he will not be ready for the start of the season. If he needs more time, Ivan Nova and David Phelps will both begin the year in the rotation.

Hughes, 26, went 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA and 165/46 K/BB ratio over 191 1/3 innings last season. He is eligible to become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.