After defeating the Tigers 3-1 this afternoon, the Rays prepared to take a short four-day trip to Houston to play the Astros. Before departing, the Joe Maddon-led squad slipped into some themed attire, apparently dubbed “accidental preppie”.
Dave Haller, the director of communications for the Rays, tweeted a bunch of pictures of Rays in their attire. Here’s an album, courtesy /r/baseball:
As one of the more analytical managers in baseball, Maddon has certainly made his mark in that regard, but let’s not forget that he has brought a penguin into the clubhouse and hired a DJ recently as well, both arguably as important as in-game tactics. (I kid, I kid.)
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.