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Minor League Injury Update: Tyler Austin's Sunday Return and More

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It's been awhile since we've seen Joba celebrate.
It's been awhile since we've seen Joba celebrate.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Of course, the day I write this, we get this lovely bit of news on Jose Campos (h/t Matt):

Josh Norris ‏@jnorris427

Sounds like Jose Campos is done for the year, per Nardi Contreras. #Yankees

It's just been an awful 2012 for the much heralded Jesus Montero/Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda/Jose Campos deal. Pineda and Campos have lost full seasons, Montero is hitting a meager .257/.298/.396 in Seattle with a wRC+ of 87, and Noesi was so bad (5.77 ERA, 5.63 FIP) that he was demoted to AAA Tacoma. Yeesh.

At least Manny Banuelos is throwing fastballs and changeups off a mound now (h/t Tanya). Protect your arm, ManBan.

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Here's a quick update for those interested in an update on the Yankees' injury report today. Tyler Austin was the fastest-rising prospect in the Yankees' organization this year after hitting .317/.404/.593 with 14 homers in 71 games with low-A Charleston, but immediately after he was promoted to high-A Tampa, he was drilled in the head and has not played since then. Fortunately, minor league beat writer Josh Norris (who mostly covers the AA Trenton Thunder), reported today that Austin could return to game action on Sunday. This news is great to hear, as it's been a shame to see Austin's season derailed by injury, and fans were looking forward to see if his success at Charleston could translate to a higher level. Austin, Mason Williams, and perhaps Slade Heathcott (if he can finally start to realize his first-round draft pick potential from '09) could really be important parts of the Yankees outfield within a few years, so here's hoping they really mash the pitchers in the Florida State League.

In other Tampa news (and not so much minor league news), Joba Chamberlain will be making a rehab appearance in Tampa today as he will start the game and go 1-2 innings. Come back soon, Joba. I don't want to see Chad Qualls anymore. Obviously, if one of the biggest problems on the team is a middle reliever, they're doing pretty well, so there's that.

This news is about a week old, but it's worth mentioning since we haven't heard much about top pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Jose Campos in a while. Both had sore elbows and haven't pitched since mid-May and late April, respectively, but tests have thankfully shown that neither needs Tommy John surgery. Banuelos started his throwing program about two weeks ago, and Campos began his last week. Get well soon, kids.

Catching prospect Austin Romine has been rehabbing with the Rookie League GCL Yankees for about a week now (Eduardo Nunez also just began an assignment there a couple days ago in an effort to return from his thumb injury). He's allowed three runners to steal successfully without catching any and is hitting .214/.357/.571 with two doubles in five games down there. The numbers aren't too important though as he just needs to keep his back healthy. Hopefully, he should return to the AAA traveling roadshow soon. One has to wonder what his return to the starting catcher position means for Francisco Cervelli though--would they split time between catcher and DH or something like that? Does Cervelli just get promoted in place of Chris Stewart to back up Russell Martin? I kind of doubt the latter because the big club just seems to love "Stewie," and Cervelli's still not hitting well (.241/.332/.309 in 69 games), but the Yankees front office works in mysterious ways.