Braves starter Tim Hudson had a wonky back late in the season and had hoped to avoid surgery. He didn’t, however, and today had surgery to repair a herniated disc. The surgery — like all surgery on athletes — was reported as “successful.”
One day, heaven forbid, they’re going to report someone’s surgery as “a hot mess.” That will be interesting.
Anyway, Hudson is expected to be ready for spring training. But, dudes, your team’s most important starter coming off surgery like this is not the best thing in the world. Almost makes you wonder if the Braves’ talk about being willing to deal Jair Jurrjens is just that now, and they they’d prefer to keep him in the event Hudson is slow to rebound.
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.