Lynn Henning has a story up today about how hard it’s going to be for Jim Leyland to find someone to pencil into the DH slot every day this year without ruffling feathers.
One of the options that seems to not be on the table at the moment is just making Delmon Young the DH:
Young appeared to confirm as much Thursday. As he exited the clubhouse door, he was askef full-time DH work could be agreeable. He looked as if he had just been called by a telemarketer.
“I’ve never done it before,” he said. “I’ve heard it’s difficult. I’d prefer to play my position. I don’t know. We haven’t even played one game yet.”
Obviously it’s Leyland’s choice, not Young’s. And there’s some suggestion that there will be a bit of a rotation there, with Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Young, among others, all taking turns as the DH.
But man: it sometimes sounds like that ridiculous scenario Aaron articulated in January — a team with Fielder, Cabrera and Young on the roster and none of them DHing — is a possibility.
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.