Ryan Madson could return to the Angels soon

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Angels reliever Ryan Madson may join the team soon as he gets ready to make a rehab start with Single-A Inland Empire tomorrow. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reports Madson hit 94 MPH with his fastball during an extended spring training game yesterday and may only need to make one rehab start before rejoining his team.

Madson hasn’t thrown a pitch in the Majors since September 28, 2011 with the Phillies. He signed with the Reds for the 2012 season on a one-year, $8.5 million deal but had to have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and missed the entire regular season. The Angels picked him up during the off-season on a one-year, $3.5 million deal hoping for better luck. When he was healthy, he was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball, but he is now 32 years old.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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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.