Sanchez set to throw a pair of bullpens

Sanchez set to throw a pair of bullpens

TORONTO -- Aaron Sanchez is expected to take the next step in his recovery from a strained right lat muscle this week.

The Blue Jays' right-hander will throw bullpen sessions off of a mound on Wednesday and next Saturday in Dunedin. Sanchez will then be re-evaluated before being considered for rehab starts.

"I didn't think he was going to take this long, but it's not my arm, either," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on Saturday. "He's got to build up a few innings, so I've got to believe [he will make at least two rehab starts]. He'll be pitching there during the [All-Star] break. We may run him for two innings that first go around."

Sanchez (5-4), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, has not pitched since going eight innings in a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on June 5.

"This [injury] snuck up on him a little bit, and we're being cautious," said Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker last weekend. "We'll stay on top of it in the second half of the season, but we expect him to be really good for us."

Toronto expects to have the 22-year-old back in mid-July.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.