Yankees pitching prospect Manny Banuelos has been shut down with what appears to be arm fatigue. The left-hander has been slowly moving up the minor league ladder since returning from Tommy John surgery this season, but he says he's been feeling something close to a dead arm that has caused him to struggle on the mound recently. Manager Tony Franklin says ManBan could end up on the disabled list, but more evaluation will be needed before a decision is made. At the moment he will be removed from the Trenton Thunder rotation and will rest for three days before he plays catch on Thursday.
Obviously, this is not what you want to see from a guy coming off Tommy John surgery, or really any kind of surgery. The way things are going this season, it feels like no one is safe in baseball, but since it seems to be fatigue rather than soreness, it could be just that he's not used to pitching so much yet. This sounds like more of a precautionary approach as a tired arm can usually lead to injury as the pitcher attempts to compensate or adjust to how he's feeling when he throws. A more optimistic way of looking at it is that this isn't as much of a setback as it is just a part of the healing process. He needs to get used to pitching again, and sometimes these things happen, but it could have been much worse.
The unfortunate part is that with the news about CC Sabathia being out until at least July, Banuelos could have been a longterm solution in the Yankees rotation as soon as this summer. Now that possibility is becoming less likely and they might have to lean heavily on guys like Chase Whitley, Shane Greene, and Bryan Mitchell; all guys who could be solid, but might not necessarily have the potential, or in Mitchell's case be ready, to be a staple in the rotation. Now that ManBan's been put on the shelf, it could make them more likely to go after a starting pitcher at the trade deadline and it could end up costing them more assets than they want to give up. We'll just have to see how things move along from here.