After watching Phil Hughes throw a side session on Sunday, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said there is "a clear difference" in Hughes' velocity.
"There was a clear difference with the way the ball was getting to the plate," Rothschild said. "Now it's just a matter of going through kind of a spring training type thing to get ready. We're not going to rush it but when he's ready he's ready."
Hughes has been on the disabled list since mid April with what the team is calling a shoulder inflammation. He struggled to reach 90 mph with his fastball in three starts earlier this season. His velocity has picked up significantly in two minor league rehab starts. He reached 95 mph in his first start and dropped off to 93 in his second.
He will make his third start on Wednesday. Rothschild is looking for Hughes to throw 85 pitches over five or six innings.
"It's just step-by-step," Rothschild, the Yankees' first-year pitching coach, said. "We'll evaluate it then."
OLD MAN MO: Mariano Rivera pitched in his 1,010th career game, tying Roberto Hernandez for 12th on baseball's all-time games pitched list. He also converted his 20th save. He's reached the 20 save plateau for the 15th time in his career, tying Trevor Hoffman for the most seasons all-time. He has also converted 25 consecutive save opportunities against National League teams.
HIP-HIP JORGE: Jorge Posada's fifth inning homer gives him two in his last five games after going homerless in 40 straight (from April 24 to June 19). He has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 starts, batting .409 in starts over that stretch.
A-RBI MACHINE:Alex Rodriguez has at least one RBI in each of his last six games, one shy of his career long streak (accomplished four times). He’s hitting .500 with six runs, four doubles and nine RBI in his last seven games.