The Boston Globe reports that Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks — who missed most of last season with back problems and had surgery to remove bone fragments in December — needed a second surgery to deal with fluid buildup around his spine. The recover time for that, the Globe reports, is eight weeks, which means he likely won’t be ready when spring training gets underway next month.
Jenks was able to manage only 19 appearances last season, striking out 17 and walking 13 in 15 and two-thirds with a 6.32 ERA. Good thing Boston got Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey this winter.
Gonna go out on a limb and say that this signing will not be written about as the Sox’ best.
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.