Since one season ending injury to a top prospect wasn't enough, the Yankees now have another one to deal with. ESPN's Andrew Marchand reports lefty pitching prospect Manny Banuelos has been shut down for the rest of the season with an elbow bruise. While he won't pitch again this season, vice president of operations Mark Newman says the team does plan to have him pitch in winter ball. At least that's something to look forward to.
It's a lost year for Banuelos, finishing with just 24 innings in Triple-A after suffering the injury on May 18. He made just two starts in April before losing a month to a shoulder strain. Banuelos looked to have regained his 'top prospect' form in three starts back from the injury, allowing just one earned run and striking out 15 over 14.2 innings. It's an incredibly small sample size, but given how his first shot in Triple-A went at the end of 2011, it was progress. That's basically all that we could hope for given his age for the level.
Losing him for the rest of the season obviously isn't good, but it isn't the worst thing either. He still has age on his side, so while it's a lost season, it isn't a Dellin Betances type lost season. If the injury doesn't require major surgery, which it doesn't appear will be the case, he'll recover some innings in the winter and be ready to go next April. While not ideal, this is almost certainly better than being completely healthy and floundering through the season. At least this leaves room for hope going into next year.
Still, it's tough to see a pitcher with so much talent lose valuable time at the highest level of the minors.