Tough news for the Yankees. According to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Alfonso Soriano was a late scratch from today’s lineup against the Red Sox due to a sprained right thumb.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Soriano apparently injured the thumb diving for a ball in Baltimore this week and has been bothered by it ever since. Early word is that it’s a day-to-day type of injury, so the Yankees will have to hope that it’s nothing more than that. They already lost outfielder Brett Gardner to a strained oblique on Thursday.
Soriano has been fantastic since returning to the Yankees on July 26, batting .251/.299/.525 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 46 games. He leads the majors in home runs and RBI during that timespan.
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.