WEEI reports that Terry Francona will interview for the Cardinals’ managerial job today. The club wants to have someone in place next week.
From afar Francona seems like such a good fit. He’s been expected to win-now for most of the past decade, so going to a win-now job — this one without clubhouse crankiness like he had in Boston — seems natural. The only x-factor is if left Boston just because that situation was deteriorating for him or, instead, if he generally is burned out right now.
As a person who has been burned out before, I can attest that it is really hard to hide that, even in a job interview, so I guess St. Louis will figure that out.
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.