Mar
08

GIFs: Manny Banuelos’ Spring Debut

By
Fastball by George Springer for the strikeout.

Fastball by George Springer for the strikeout.

It didn’t go particularly well, but left-hander Manny Banuelos made his first spring appearance of the year this afternoon. He has missed nearly two full years following a pair of elbow injuries (bone bruise and Tommy John surgery). The first three batters he faced reached base, including a double by Jose Altuve (GIF) and a three-run blast by Chris Carter (video). Banuelos settled down to retire the next two batters before reaching his pitch count and being lifted.

I unofficially had Banuelos at eleven strikes and nine balls in the 20-pitch outing. He threw almost all fastballs with a handful curveballs but no changeups, his trademark pitch. Erik Boland says a scout had him at 92-94 mph with “no reason to think he can’t rebound” from the injuries. Banuelos was a little wild but that isn’t too surprising after missing two years. Hopefully he throws a few more innings in camp and fares a little better. Either way, the Yankees have already said he’s all but a lock to start the season in Triple-A. Makes sense.

There are a few more GIFs after the jump. As you can see, the camera angle during the broadcast was just awful. The center field camera must have been out in the parking lot somewhere. You can click each GIF for a larger view.

Banuelos 2

The curve.

Banuelos 3

Fastball on the outside corner.

Banuelos 4

Fastball on the inside corner.

Banuelos 6

Fastball fouled off.

Banuelos 7

And another fastball inside.

  • RetroRob

    Missed it, but glad to see him back in action, and with a fastball already at 92-94.

    Tanaka, Nova, Pineda and Banuelos could make for a very nice and young rotation come 2015.

    • Angelo

      A lot would have to go right for that to be a solid rotation. We can dream though. Certainly not impossible to see.

      • RetroRob

        Springtime is the time to dream!

    • nycsportzfan

      I thought he was throwing really hard. They had no MPH gun on the game today, but he looked to be throwing hard. To me, between that, and the fact he was on the mound to begin with, are bigger positives then his results.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    At the very least, it’s a nice “calm the hell down” for those who are concerned about him squeezing his way onto the big club. He needs work.

    I’m glad he was out there. It wasn’t a great first appearance back, but there’s enough to build upon here. I still out money on you seeing Manny Banuelos making a start in the Bronx at some point this season.

    • CashmanNinja

      The only way he’d crack the MLB roster this early would be as a reliever…and I don’t even see that as an option til at least mid-season. I think it’s best he stays in AAA to get as much work as possible. Remember that most of the time guys come back from TJ surgery and can dial it up pretty well early on. It’s the location/stamina that are the hardest to regain, so I’m happy with seeing him out there. The reason everyone is jumping for joy with Pineda is because he came back from a shoulder injury and that is the death blow for most pitchers. Man-Bam’s injury was fairly routine by today’s standards, but it’s great seeing him back in action none-the-less.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I agree with you.

        I was referring more to the slight panic which broke out when Joe made an allusion to not being opposed to carrying him as a bullpen piece if he looked good enough. His needing work, to me, shows that those worried about that sort of scenario won’t even have to entertain it.

        I’d love him looking sharp by summer. The comments by scouts who saw him are certainly encouraging.

        We’ll get two Killer B’s to the majors just yet.

    • nycsportzfan

      good post.

  • Dirk Diggler

    I love his over-the-top delivery — it looks like a very natural and fluent motion.

    As long as he can thow strikes, he can and will be successful and a major league pitcher. How good he will be has yet to be seen but he’s a lefty with a good fastball and a few other offerings — it’s hard to wrong with that.

    And as a side note — In all seriousness, is Anna leading the last bench spot competition? (Insert Scott Sizemore joke)…

    • forensic

      My gut still tells me that Nunez is the leader for the last spot (and maybe easily the leader at this early point). I don’t think people are giving seniority and his time that he’s already had in the organization enough credit when it comes to what they’ll consider when making their decision.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I can agree with that. I’d just prefer to live in a state of denial about it.

        • forensic

          Whatever floats your boat. :-)

          Beyond Nunez, though, I do think Anna has an enormous lead on everyone else, just due to the built-in advantage of already being on the 40-man.

          I’m not sure I understand people, including Mike, thinking Sizemore has the lead on that spot (not talking about the meme-ish comments either). He’s barely played this spring, which even just at this point is slightly telling, and he’s barely even been on the field the last two years. He’s on a minor league deal for a reason, especially one with a May opt-out instead of an April or March one (if I remember correctly).

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            I liked Sizemore very much that half season and thought he showed promise. That’s not going to show up in stats, but it’s my own personal bias. I root harder for him because I don’t want his career derailed by this two-year fluke.

      • nycsportzfan

        I agree. I think that combined with what he did from Aug 1st thru Sept both will play a part in him winning the gig.

  • forensic

    I’m sure I’m in the extreme minority here, but I’ve even been considering whether it’s worth it to start him in AA, instead of AAA. Even when he was there and healthy, he still walked about 5 per 9 innings. There’s still quite a bit of work to be done there.

    But, I do understand maybe just starting him in AAA, since he’s already lost 2 years of development time.

    I do kind of think it’s funny how people say the only thing that mattered, though, is that his arm didn’t fly off when he was on the mound. It’s not like he had a bionic arm attached from his last injury and he’s nearly a year and a half out from about as routine a serious surgery as there is for a pitcher. Sure, it’s nice that he’s out there and finally pitching again, but there’s no need to sugarcoat it and make it sound like he’s coming back from more than he actually is.

    His recovery is certainly easier than Pineda’s, but again, I also wouldn’t freak out about Pineda sounding like he looked good for just two little innings at this point.

    • Havok9120

      I’d be down for working him all the way back from Tampa. I don’t know how full that rotation is, but if it isn’t going to drastically effect anything, keep him there for a couple starts and work him back up through Trenton and Scranton.

      • RetroRob

        That is worth considering. The goal should be to get him working regularly in AAA, but if it takes a couple months to get there that wouldn’t be bad.

        Have him start in the warmer weather down south in extended spring training, and then have him pitch in a few lower level and A-ball games where he can work on building up his innings and command before putting him in AAA.

        Hopefully they can get him up to 135 innings or so this year, which will position him for fulltime rotation spot on the Yankees in 2015.

  • forensic

    Part of it may be the camera angle (and the general sketchiness with trying to see anything closely in GIF’s), but those three fastballs at the corners sure look like they were way off the edges.

    • Budseligblows

      Manny’s control issues are, like many things overblown. He was in the middelnof fling out and adding a couple of ticks to his fastball, working on a fourth pitch and admittedly by Manny that he was nibbling a bit on top of working on his cutter. The interview with his pitching coach confirmed this, and just before the I jury he started to show what he was capable of.

      It’s going to take him some time to get back in order, but i don’t think it’s quite the it was made out to be.

  • Billy C.

    MB. threw smoothly. Looks physically bigger/stronger. Agree results not key yet. Now 92-94 wait till arm strength, confidence back. But slow the way. Lefty w dream Starter stuff, could scare teams. Don’t Joba. Go Manban.

  • Nathan

    I’ll admit that I haven’t gotten to see a lot of Banuelos (I’m a left coast Yankee fan with no access to YES Network) but from that opening screen GIF, his mechanics pre-release looks close to Andy’s.

    Could be me, I could just be missing Andy.

  • MaconBacon

    Manny got squeezed a little bit and he DID throw a change-up (which got crushed for the homerun). But it was great to see him out there. The double wasn’t really hit very well.
    He’ll be fine.

  • Billy C.

    I did think he looked good overall and his delivery was fluid especially up until he releases the ball. The only thing I noticed was that he was cutting his follow thru off a little short before full follow thru. But not so much in the later frames.
    I worry that unless I’m wrong that could put undue pressure on his shoulder. Maybe it’s just part of his natural windup.
    I’m sure they’re watching him under a microscope. And I like the way he motions toward the plate. It’s an efficient delivery. If he stays healthy his upside could be way above whats now projected. Not to jump way way too far ahead but kind of like a Whitey Ford with more velocity.

  • Jeffro

    Watched yesterday just to see him. The double was a ground ball that was a hit because the 3b was guarding against the bunt. He went 3-0 to the second hitter and battled back before walking him. And Carter mashed a change up MB left in the middle of the plate.

    Good to see him back out there and agree that he has matured physically. Excited to follow his progress this year.