By Matt Snyder
Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes made his second rehab start for the Double-A Trenton Thunder Wednesday afternoon with general manager Brian Cashman on hand and certainly made an impact.
“Today was a really good day,” Cashman said (Bats blog on NYTimes.com). “His stuff was good. He was explosive.”
Hughes also sounded pleased.
"It was a good step," Hughes said. "I went out today and did not even think about stuff. I know that's what everybody wants to know about, but my last two outings, and even in the [simulated] games in Florida, my stuff was good. I trusted that it would be there and worried more about command, so that's really what I was most concerned about."
Hughes threw 6 1/3 innings and allowed just three hits, one run and two walks while striking out eight. He threw 88 pitches, so he's not likely far off from rejoining the Yankees. His fastball was reportedly in the 92-94 miles per hour range, so that is holding strong where it needs to be. There's no timetable set for Hughes' return, but it's soon because Cashman is questioning whether or not Hughes needs one more rehab start.
“It wouldn’t hurt to get him stretched out farther. But his stuff was good," Cashman said.
Hughes has been sidelined since April 14 after an awful start to the season. He was getting knocked around the yard as his fastball was routinely below 90 m.p.h. The Yankees then put him on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He was an All-Star last season after a stellar 10-1 start, but faltered down the stretch as his velocity dropped.
Bartolo Colon is likely to start for the Yankees this coming weekend, too, so the rotation will soon be fully healthy.
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