Braves right-hander Peter Moylan underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in mid-April and hasn’t pitched in a major league game since. That should change tomorrow. Or at some point early next week.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Moylan will be activated from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday morning and will be available out of the Atlanta bullpen for the Braves’ series finale against the visiting Dodgers.
Moylan allowed one unearned run and struck out 10 batters over six minor league rehab appearances. A 32-year-old from Australia, he has posted a sparkling 2.61 ERA in 251 2/3 career major league innings. The Braves are likely to use him frequently down the stretch.
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.