What’s this? Good news for the Dodgers’ bullpen? I don’t believe it.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Broxton is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque “in a couple of days.”
Joe Block of 790 KABC in Los Angeles reports that Broxton threw about 22 pitches in a simulated game earlier today. Ned Colletti estimated last week that Broxton was on track to return sometime in July, so the big right-hander will likely need to make it through several appearances in the minors.
Broxton has been on the disabled list since May 4 with a bone bruise on his right elbow. He has a 5.68 ERA and 10/9 K/BB ratio over his first 12 2/3 innings this season.
On the subject of more immediate help, Hernandez adds that Kenley Jansen could be activated from the disabled list tomorrow while Hong-Chih Kuo could return Sunday.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.