Sherman: Manny Banuelos is pitching in simulated games

Fan Confidence Poll: September 16th, 2013
Playoffs or no playoffs, the Yankees are in need of major change this offseason

Via Joel Sherman: Left-hander Manny Banuelos recently started pitching in simulated games as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Three weeks ago we heard he was facing hitters in live batting practice down at the team’s complex in Tampa. Simulated games are a bit more intense though because you’re actually trying to get outs and throw full 15-20 pitch “innings” with no break between batters.

Banuelos, 22, had his surgery last October and the Yankees have been conservative with his rehab. Simulated games usually come 8-10 months after surgery according to Mike Dodd’s classic Tommy John rehab article, but Banuelos is already into his 11th month of rehab. No big deal really, he was expected to miss the entire season and the team has every reason to play it safe. Banuelos has missed close to two full years with elbow problems — he threw only 24 innings last year before getting hurt — and those are two pretty important development years at his age.

Banuelos’ winter ball rights are still control by his former Mexican League team in Monterrey, so the Yankees would have to jump through some hoops if they want the southpaw to get some innings over the winter. They did work out an agreement with Monterrey allowing him to pitch in the Arizona Fall League a few seasons ago. Bench coach Tony Pena usually manages in the Dominican Republic over the winter, so maybe they can figure out a way to get Banuelos there so he’s under a watchful eye.

Fan Confidence Poll: September 16th, 2013
Playoffs or no playoffs, the Yankees are in need of major change this offseason
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Remember his strikeout of Youk with the bases loaded in Spring Training? I want this guy to succeed, and badly.

    • dkidd

      i was just thinking about that pitch!

  • dkidd

    a nation turns its lonely eyes to you, manban

    please please please be as good as you looked in whatever spring training that was…

  • Captain

    hopefully they can get him to play winter ball in the DR but the main issue is that even with Pena managing, those teams down there play to win. unless Banuelos is pitching well, chances are he won’t get too many opportunities.

  • Jedua

    I think he will play on the mexican winter league, “los tomateros” (tomato farmers) invited him and 41 players to their roster

    (Link in spanish)

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I love the Killer Tomatoes

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    i feel really skeptical about his comeback, but i hope he proves me wrong!

  • Farewell Mo

    Cannot overstate how desperately the Yankees need to catch a break over the next few years and have a couple from the ManBan, Campos, Jose Ramirez, Pineda, Hensley, DePaula group develop into top of the rotation staters

    • RetroRob

      ManBan, Pineda and Hensley are at the front of that class, although DePaula and Ramirez are right there. Not all of them will achieve what we want, but have to hope a couple of these arms come through.