TRENTON – The Trenton Thunder scratched scheduled starting pitcher Manny Banuelos just hours prior to Monday’s scheduled appearance against the Harrisburg Senators. Immediately, the move raised red flags for the former top prospect in the New York Yankees farm system, who has been brought along slowly this year as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.
As it turns out, Banuelos is suffering from “a little arm soreness,” according to Thunder manager Tony Franklin.
“We need to be cautious with him,” Franklin said. “Any time there’s a complaint about a little stiffness, a little tightness…something didn’t feel right to him, so we backed him off.”
When talking to the media prior to Monday’s game, Banuelos indicated that the training staff ran a series of tests on his arm.
“They said maybe like dead arm or fatigue,” the left-hander told reporters. Banuelos told me that he first felt the fatigue about a week and a half ago. However, it appears he only mentioned it to Franklin and the training staff in the past few days.
“He was getting prepared for going through the days after his start, and a couple days after that, he didn’t feel right,” Franklin noted. “I think it’s a good thing that he made mention of it… He missed a year or two, missing a few days is not going to hurt him.”
Asked if Banuelos’ injury could be a lasting issue, Franklin was unsure.
“We’ll see how he is in a few days,” Franklin said, when noting that he had not discussed with the training staff at length. “Maybe he can get back out there in the next two or three days.”
Banuelos is scheduled to play catch on Thursday, and the training staff will see how the former top prospect feels before deciding on their next move. Franklin indicated that he had not discussed the possibility of a stint on the disabled list with trainer Lee Meyer.
Banuelos had struggled mightily in his last appearance, allowing two runs and five baserunners while recording just two outs. He indicated that he first felt the injury around a week and a half ago, and it may have affected him during that outing.
Jairo Heredia, another prospect who has suffered his fair share of injuries over the past few seasons, is starting in Banuelos’ place against Harrisburg.