I don’t mean that he’s having a bad week statistically speaking — though he kind of is — I mean that bad stuff is happening to him.
The other day he had to leave a game early when he was hit in the head with a pitch and subsequently suffered nausea. Last night he had to leave a game early — well, in the tenth inning anyway — after getting hit in the head when a ball he was trying to catch ricocheted off the wall. You can see it happen here.
The events allowed Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis to reach third on a triple and to drive in two runs, making it a 6-1 game in the 10th. Of course, the Dbacks came back in a wild bottom half of the inning to win it, so that part of it is all good.
Not good: Arizona’s best hitter continually being pummeled about the noggin in the season’s last week.
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.