Chris Haft of MLB.com checked in yesterday with Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner, who said that Buster Posey’s rehab from left leg injuries is going well.
Groeschner said that Posey’s current regimen mainly involves cardiovascular work, such as riding a stationary bicycle and running on a treadmill. In early January, Posey will resume baseball-related activities such as hitting and throwing and will run on flat ground. He performed these activities during September and October at the Giants’ training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Posey’s 2011 season came to an unfortunate and ugly end in a nasty home-plate collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins in late-May. The injuries included torn ligaments in his left ankle and a fractured bone in his lower leg.
The Giants expect Posey to be ready to participate in drills when spring training begins in mid-February. The plan calls for him to be the primary catcher next season, though Bruce Bochy said earlier this week that they may give him occasional playing time at first base in order to keep his bat in the lineup and ease the burden on his leg.
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.