While throwing in a simulated game towards the end of April, Yankees starter Michael Pineda suffered a strain of the teres major muscle in his shoulder. The diagnosis purported Pineda would need three or four weeks to recover. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Pineda will need more than four weeks now, according to manager Joe Girardi, via Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger.
Pineda played catch at a distance of 60 feet on Saturday, Castillo writes, and everything went well, but Girardi is in no mood to rush the right-hander considering his four starts this season were his first for the Yankees since they acquired him in January 2012 in the Jesus Montero trade.
Pineda, of course, made headlines when he was caught on national television with pine tar on his neck, but when he wasn’t brazenly breaking baseball’s rules, he was pitching well for the Yankees. In four starts, the 25-year-old posted a 1.83 ERA with 15 strikeouts and three walks over 19 2/3 innings.
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.