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Hughes, Pavano to make rehab starts

Hughes, Pavano to make rehab starts

BOSTON -- Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano appear primed to take their next steps toward rejoining the Yankees' rotation, with both injured hurlers set to make Gulf Coast League rehab starts next week.

Hughes is slated to start and pitch two innings on Monday for the GCL Yankees, while Pavano is tentatively scheduled to toss two frames on Tuesday for the same club, assuming that a batting-practice session goes as expected on Saturday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Hughes' fractured rib -- which has kept him on the disabled list since April 30 -- has pushed back his development, though it has not severely impacted his standing in the eyes of clubs that are hoping to make a July acquisition.

"It hasn't affected the teams asking for him, I can promise you that," Cashman said. "It seems like every time it's a decent name, the demand is Phil Hughes. That's despite everything that's going on. I know one thing -- the evaluations outside the organization seem to be the same as it was before the stress fracture."

Hughes, 22, was the Yankees' first-round pick in the June 2004 First-Year Player Draft and was 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 13 starts last season, including logging the only victory of the team's aborted postseason run.

But he went 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in six starts after making the club out of Spring Training this season before being placed on the DL with a fractured rib. Hughes has added corrective lenses that he will wear while pitching upon his eventual return.

Pavano, 32, is in the final year of a four-year, $39.95 million contract that has seen him spend most of his time on the DL with various injuries. Pavano has made just 19 starts for the Yankees, including making an Opening Day start in 2007, logging a total of five victories.

Pavano underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery last June, a procedure that typically carries a recovery period of 12-18 months. The Yankees believe that he could pitch in the Major Leagues this season if he avoids another setback.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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