Prospect Injury Notes: Banuelos throwing BP, Austin close to game action

Sabathia can't protect lead as Yankees drop second straight to Rays
Game 130: Salvage the Series

Via Chad Jennings: LHP Manny Banuelos has been throwing batting practice at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa. He had Tommy John surgery last October. According to Mike Dodd’s classic TJS rehab article, Banuelos should begin pitching in game action relatively soon. I suppose he could make some winter ball starts after the season if the team is comfortable with his rehab. The 22-year-old made just six starts last year before hurting his elbow, so he’s missed nearly two full developmental years. I ranked Banuelos as the team’s 12th best prospect last month.

In other prospect injury news, OF Tyler Austin could be close to playing in games with the team’s Rookie Level Gulf Coast League affiliate. He’s been out since mid-July with a bone bruise in his right wrist. The GCL season ends this coming Thursday — the other leagues end the following week — so there aren’t a whole lot of games left to play this year. I do think Austin is a prime Arizona Fall League candidate, however. Before the injury, he was hitting a disappointing .254/.344/.367 (101 wRC+) with six homers in 358 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton. I ranked Austin as the club’s fourth best prospect last month.

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Sabathia can't protect lead as Yankees drop second straight to Rays
Game 130: Salvage the Series
  • RetroRob

    Unlikely Banuelos is an option prior to 2015. Two lost years of development, very little time at AAA. Not only will he be going through TJS rehab, the team will need to limit his innings in 2014.

    Fortunately, he’s still young, and a 2015 (assuming all goes well health and development wise) still has him at 23 and hopefully a good MLB career in front of him. For now, just good to see he’s recovering well.

    • Il Cugino

      He’ll be 24 opening day 2015 but your point still stands.

      • trr

        Agree, and he’s still young enough to develop even more and exceed those expectations

        • Il Cugino

          He’s still got work to do to reach expectations. Look at his WHIP’s in AA and above. Losing those two years sucked.

  • Phil

    How many innings would Manny be limited to? i would assume around 100 and all at AAA….then in 2015 would he move up to about 140 innings?

    depending on how well Austin plays in the AFL would probably determine where he starts next year (back to AA or AAA)

    • RetroRob

      The most he’s pitched in any single season is about 130. That was in 2011. That doesn’t include any winter ball or Arizona Fall League (if he ever participated in that; can’t remember) on either side of 2011.

      Based on that, I can certainly see them aiming for about 130 again in 2014. I don’t think they’d try ramping him up to 150 with the surgery and time off.

      That would place him in position for about 160 in 2015 if he makes the big club, which is more than enough for a back-end starter. He may and hopefully does pitch better than a back-end starter, but that’s what they’ll have to plan on going in.

  • Il Cugino

    If Manny makes the opening day roster in 2015, something went very right or very wrong.

  • Preston

    Hopefully next year we can get some pitchers to have good seasons. Hopefully Campos can get his K’s back up to where they were pre-injury, and Depaula can cut down on the BBs. Manny back pitching in AAA and hopefully Jose Ramirez and Brett Marshall can turn it around repeating the level. Add in a full season of Hensley and Clarkin and our pitching could be exciting next year.

    • RetroRob

      I agree. 2014 could be an interesting (in a good way) year for the Yankees minor leagues. While both Heathcott and Austin had slow starts at AA, Heathcott was coming on strong, and even Austin was hitting well after a very slow start, before slumping badly again right before he went on the DL. Reports had his bat speed down, which seems pretty unusual for someone so young, so an injury might have contributed. Expecting a solid year from him in 2014, or at least hoping. I think both will be at AAA in 2014, if not at the start, not too far in.

      Sanchez and Williams at AA, this year’s top three picks all playing their first full season, the return of Hensley and Banuelos, and Campos unrestricted all could form the nice foundation. Not everything will go right, but following this year a bounce back would be a nice thing.