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Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos to have Tommy John surgery

Oct 2, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

Manuel Banuelos AP

Yankees farmhand Manny Banuelos was ranked by Baseball America as the 29th prospect in all of baseball last winter. This year, however, he was limited to six starts and was shut down in early August due to an elbow injury. While the Yankees had hoped that the shutdown would fix all that ailed him, Brian Cashman just announced that Banuelos will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday.

That’ll put him in dry dock until 2014. Which, combined with the almost nothing he did this year means that he’s lost almost two full seasons. It’s probably worth asking someone with the Yankees why the problem wasn’t seen and the surgery wasn’t done earlier in an effort to limit the development time he’ll now lose.

Either way, it was hoped that Banuelos would be a key part of Yankees new relatively austere future.  Hal Steinbrenner is on record as saying that he wants the team’s payroll under $189 million soon to avoid luxury tax charges. The only real way to make that happen, it seems, is for the pitching staff to be mostly young and cheap.  That could still happen, but Banuelos won’t be part of that for some time.

  1. uyf1950 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Well looks like his 2013 season is pretty much shot or at least the first half of it. The one saving grace is he will only be 22 this coming March. So there will still be time to prove himself in Triple A after his rehab. Maybe or I should say hopefully the surgery will solve his control issues. We’ll see.

  2. jayscarpa - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Jeez, I just looked at his game log and it says his last outing was in May. They did a MRI on 5/25 and it came back clean, no ligament damage. Someone screwed the pooch on this one.

  3. geoknows - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    ” It’s probably worth asking someone with the Yankees why the problem wasn’t seen and the surgery wasn’t done earlier …”

    You know what, Craig? No team can make anybody have Tommy John surgery. It’s entirely possible – indeed, it’s likely, considering that Banuelos was down with elbow issues most of the year – that everybody was well aware there was a tear and that Banuelos opted to try conservative treatment before going the surgical route. And that the doctors perhaps even advised it. You’re making an assumption you shouldn’t be making.

    My gawd, I just defended the Yankees.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      How is asking someone with the team why it wasn’t done earlier — when one of the possible answers could be ‘Banuelos didn’t want it ‘ — an assumption? Maybe that’s it, even. But someone should say so.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Why does it take these guys so long to recover from Tommy John surgery? My god, Steve Austin had one arm, two legs, and an eye replaced by bionic parts and he was up and roaring later that same episode.

  5. emeraldcityfan - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Man, first Pineda, then Campos, and now Banuelos. Snakebit much? Someone in player development is getting canned.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      Already happened. Longtime “pitching guru” Billy Connors was relieved of his duties last month. I’m not sure why it was him, and not the medical staff, in this instance. Misdiagnosis seems to be a major problem these days in MLB though.

    • apgreco - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      You didn’t mention Gardner…..they were goofing around for months about him and his elbow. What doctors are we using? They should be replaced for sure

  6. pisano - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    It’s the nature of the beast with pitchers, how many Nolan Ryan’s come along in a lifetime? aside from Ryan, there aren’t a lot of pitchers that don’t suffer some kind of arm trouble.

  7. proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    So the much hyped B & B boys have been a disappointment! Since Cano, have the Yankees actually signed, developed and retained anyone who has been in the top tier of players at their position? Gardiner has potential but also has a career OPS of only .723. Hughes, Nova and Chamberlain are mid tier at best. Robertson is a decent late inning pitcher, but doesn’t appear to be closer material. It is not surprising that the team is getting old.

    • protectthishouse54 - Oct 2, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Not sure what the point of pointing that out is. Signed, developed and retained? They swung Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson… Sorry he wasn’t retained. Cano is in the prime of his career and the Yanks have made other teams look stupid by constantly picking useful players off the trash heap. And so what if the Yanks prospects are “mid-tier.” I didn’t know other teams were churning out young, elite homegrown talent every year.

    • bigharold - Oct 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      “…have the Yankees actually signed, developed and retained anyone who has been in the top tier of players at their position?”

      Have the Jays?? It’s not like any one team is cornering the market on consistently developing young talent. Except maybe the Rays with pitching.

      First of all, the Yankees are always built to win now. Look at the players they have and whether developed, traded for or signed the Yankees are looking at contending in the current or coming season. Also, Hughes a side from only being 26, had a year better than any Jays pitcher, more wins, better era and whip, (except Morrow but he pitched 116 innings to Hughes 191).

      ” It is not surprising that the team is getting old.”

      That’s what they say about the Yankees every year and yet there are an entire generation of Yankee fans that hardly know what it’s like to not watch the Yankees in the playoffs.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        In other words Harold, you did not try to answer my question for obvious reasons. Far too often, the NY media has played up Yankee prospects only to see them fizzle or be traded. Reminds me of the old pump and dump schemes in the stock market.

      • bigharold - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        I did answer your question, .. you just didn’t like the answer. Specifically I stated that Hughes was better than you suggested inasmuch as he’s better than any of the Jays SP to underscore my point, .. AND he’s only 26. To assume that he has peaked is premature. Also, the jury is still out on Chamberlain. He’s just getting his command back after TJ surgery and he was throwing in the mid to high 90s tonight. And, he’s only 26 too.

        Moreover, I pointed out the obvious, .. the Yankees generally live in the moment so to speak and use their farm system to acquire more established veterans either by trade, (i.e, Granderson and Swisher) or they acquire FAs, large (i.e. Sabathia ot Teixeira) or small (i.e. Ibanez or Jones). The Yankees generally reload not rebiuld. Criticizing the Yankees for not doing a better job of developing young talent is like criticizing a Corvette because it can’t tow your boat. That not the way the Yankees do business.

        As for the notion that “… NY media has played up Yankee prospects ..” that has more to do with the media than the Yankees. In fact it was stated that “… Banuelos was ranked by Baseball America as the 29th prospect in all of baseball”, .. the Yankees didn’t make that up. And, most teams are getting their prospects written about and most fail to make the big team let alone be a big star. It’s certainly not a strategy of the Yankees to deceive other teams as to the ability of their prospects, .. at least not anymore than any other team.

        In the end it’s hard to argue with the results. Whether you like the way the Yankees go about it or not.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      Disappointment did i hear? You want disappointment? Just check the last 20 years of bluejay baseball son!!! Thats a disappointment with a capitol D!!! And while we are talking about prospects who the hell have the jays brought up thats been a house of fire? Rios? Drabek?Gose? Snyder? Please you have absolutely NO ROOM to talk being a bluegay fan!! At least the Yanks will sign some real players in free agency, the jays produce nobody and dont sign anyone worth a wet fart!!!

  8. freeagentsignee - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Get well Manny!

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