Derek Jeter to resume baseball activities this week

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Joe Girardi told the sporting press yesterday that Derek Jeter — who stands six hits shy of 3,000 —  is expected to resume baseball activities this week and is hopeful that he can return from the disabled as soon as he’s eligible on June 29.

Jeter’s strained right calf is the kind of thing that can be nagging, but it sounds like he’s rebounding nicely from his injury.  Which, despite his year-long struggles, should be good news for Yankees fans who are likely having trouble getting their minds around an energy-filled yet error-prone Eduardo Nunez after so many years of steadiness from Jeter. A steadiness that masked poor range and stuff, but which didn’t allow for much in the way of mental errors on Jeter’s part and at least kept everyone’s blood pressure lower.

When we talk about underrated/overrated when it comes to Jeter, that quality is probably significantly underrated.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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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.