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Banuelos: “This is the best thing”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 08, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Manny BanuelosFirst game in nearly two years, and the first three hitters Manny Banuelos faced were a double, a walk and a three-run home run. After the triumphant return of Michael Pineda last night, the Banuelos spring debut was surely a let down. Except, you couldn’t find anyone in the Yankees clubhouse to put it that way.

“It was awesome,” Banuelos said. “I just got the great feelings and all. I almost forgot that. Now I’m just happy.”

Obviously that word “awesome” is meant in a larger context than a one-game pitching line. Two-thirds of an inning with two hits, three earned runs, one walk and one strikeout is hardly “awesome,” but Banuelos had not faced opposing hitters since May 18, 2012. He’s still only 22 years old, he’s missed more than a year and a half because of Tommy John surgery, and today his fastball was at 93 mph.

“I was happy for him that he got out there,” Joe Girardi said. “He threw some strikes. It’s been a long road back, and he had a smile on his face because I think you appreciate a lot more. When you lose something for a while, you appreciate it a lot more when you come back.”

If the hope was that Banuelos would plow through the Astros lineup and immediately make a case for a spot in the big league bullpen, well then today was a disappointment. Banuelos faced, arguably, the three best hitters in the Astros lineup. Jose Altuve doubled, Jason Castro walked and Chris Carter hit a changeup for a three-run homer before Banuelos had gotten a single out.

Next batter was a strikeout, then a ground ball, then Banuelos had thrown his allotment of pitches.

“I’m so happy,” Francisco Cervelli said. “Two days in a row, to see Pineda yesterday and Manny (today). I know that he’s been working so hard because we were together (rehabbing) at the complex, and I know the frustration and everything. He was so good. He had the speed. He just needs confidence and we’ll get back.”

Until today, Banuelos had no idea how hard he was throwing. He said he expected 89-90 mph. The Yankees told him it was 93. He feels strong. He feels healthy. He feels happy, even after an outing that — in almost any other circumstance — would have left him feeling a massive sense of disappointment.

“The thing was not like I wanted,” he said. “But the best thing is I feel healthy. I feel very strong in that inning. I got (only) two outs, but for being the first time after surgery and for two years, that’s awesome for me. … This is the best thing. I work for this, to get back on the mound. Now I’m back so just keep working hard and forget the past.”

Associated Press photo





55 Responses to “Banuelos: “This is the best thing””

  1. Ys Guy March 8th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    ManBan threw to major league hitters and hit 93 on the gun.

    As long as he wakes up tomorrow without any elbow pain,


  2. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    “Just keep working hard and forget the past.”



  3. RhapsodyInBlue March 8th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Welcome back Manny!!!!

  4. UpState March 8th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    UnKnown March 8th, 2014 at 4:34 pm



    9 great seconds.

    Hope to hear it alot this year !

  5. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Kid is still only 22 and will be at AAA.

    Might even taste the Bigs this year.

  6. Ys Guy March 8th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I’m pretty confident he’s gonna get a little more than a taste.

  7. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    23 days til trout season. Hope the ice is out by then. Do you nymphs early on? I know you told me, but I’ve forgotten.

  8. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Manny’s reaction was exactly what we expected.

  9. jmills March 8th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    chicken_stanley, if you’re out there with nothing better to do, I’ve got my kid’s pink Yankees hat with a white logo. She knows you’re a main part of this, and we both can’t thank you enough. Its a 47 brand with a curved brim. I got this particular one as it has a classy adjustable band at the back, not one of those snap in things. She knows I was getting it, and even though I didn’t admit to having it over the phone,…she already knows :D

  10. RhapsodyInBlue March 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Tom, I have caught fish April 1 with nymphs although had much more luck on opening day when I was a kid using bait.

    The fish are slow and lethargic from the icy water, with live bait at least they would devour a night crawler or better yet a minnow.

    With a nymph you have to keep your line tight, any sensation set the hook before the trout realizes he has bitten into fur and feathers.

    I think I told you a few weeks back I’m considering using bait on opening day, fishing for dinner.

    It’s been a long time besides a few of my buddies are no longer around. But opening day was always a ritual for us, we would meet at 3 am and head to the Catskills, be on the stream watching the sun rise.

    Of course carrying a flask to help keep warm. This year I’ll be on my own thinking of those years past and of good friends who are no longer with me.

  11. Ys Guy March 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    If Pineda makes the rotation then I see Phelps in the pen. They may try to keep him as the long man, but I expect him to move into higher leverage situations soon which means shorter outings more often.

    That means the 6th SP will be Nuno or Warren with the other being the long man in the pen.

    After that, it’s wide open for ManBan to pitch his way into the Bronx.

    He’ll make his MLB debut this year, maybe for spot starts or maybe as a lefty reliever, but he’ll get some time with the big club, imo.

  12. RadioKev March 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Good attitude.

  13. jmills March 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    My Habs loving friend here in Hamilton got me a beautiful Expos cap in Montreal. I love it!, and have to admit, it looks better than my Dave Stieb hat.

  14. bigdan22 March 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Nice game for the offense today:

    –You can spin this anyway you want, but giving up a three run bomb is not what you want to see in your first game back. I said a couple weeks ago that I expect Banuelos to get knocked around a bit this year. In AAA. Remember he was not a finished product before he got hurt. He has very little AAA experience and hasn’t pitched in two years. The thought that he’d contribute this year for the major league team is a bit fanciful. He just needs to be left alone in AAA this year. If he turns into a pleasant surprise in the second half, all the better.

    –Speaking of getting knocked around, Nova got hit pretty hard today. I guess this wasn’t the AA/AAA lineup he faced last time. Was it just me or did he throw a lot of change ups today?

    –Anna looks like a nice player. Since he’s on the 40 man, he could def take the last spot and send Nunie down to the minors. This is probably the only real competition left for this team the rest of ST.

    –Mason Williams continues to prove me wrong about him. Well so far. Besides almost hitting a homer (double), his at bat with the bases loaded, no outs and the Yanks down by two runs was Paul O’Neill perfect. At that point, you can’t strike out or hit the ball on the ground. Williams promptly drove a fly ball to left field for the sac fly. Good baseball.

    –KJ has a nice power stroke. Even against a lefty.

    –I hope Almonte doesn’t go another team and hit .320 or something. He’s got a nice “hit to all fields” approach at the plate. No shift for him.

    –Pete O’Brian didn’t strike out!!!

    –Two line drive hits for Romine. Keep building trade value out of the catching position.

    –Like me some Fred Lewis. Ground balls and strike outs.

  15. CountryClub March 8th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I don’t care if Banuelos makes it to the majors or not. I just want to see him pitch 100 innings somewhere. In a perfect world, he starts in AAA and gets most of his innings there and then comes up at the end of the year as a lefty out of the pen. But he needs healthy innings this yr.

  16. RhapsodyInBlue March 8th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    With Nova I don’t know what he was throwing but in the first inning the first few batters his pitches were up right over the plate.

  17. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Fishing for breakfast is a favorite pastime. An early supper dawn on a small stream with some live bait, and a lot of line out, with a bunch of brookies in the creel.

  18. CountryClub March 8th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    @johnmanuelba: Wow. Jack Armstrong Jr., 2011 #Astros draft pick, shifting to 1B. Signed for $750k, never pitched an inning as pro

  19. jmills March 8th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    The classical pianist Glenn Gould used to drive his little motor boat around to scare the fish from the surrounding crowd. There was Glenn in the heat of summer with a winter coat and gloves on. Its Toronto’s 180th b-day and no one mentioned Glenn or Marshall McCluhan as my city’s most famous person. Idiots.

  20. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:38 pm


    I didn’t see it but my guess would be 4-seamers.

    He tends to not command that pitch well and get hurt with it sometimes.

    Needs to stick to the sinker and curve more.

    Just use the 4-seamer to keep guys honest.

  21. RhapsodyInBlue March 8th, 2014 at 5:40 pm


    Sounds like my kind of guy, usually it’s the kyakers who paddle right over the pool I’m casting to putting the fish down that puts me into a foul mood.

    They usually ask how I’m doing and I usually tell them I was doing fine before they got there.

  22. yankeefeminista March 8th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Way to go, ManBan. I figured the velo would be right there, and each game he will get better. I’m excited to see the video. Too bad there is none of yesterday’s game (Pineda).

    How’d Nova look?

  23. jmills March 8th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I have a sister who just wrote me a very neat 1 page letter. Coast to coast she is.

  24. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    In the first inning, everything Nova threw was up and down the middle.

  25. RhapsodyInBlue March 8th, 2014 at 5:43 pm


    I thought he was better later on, the first few batters his pitches were up in the zone.

  26. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:44 pm


    Did not have good command of the FB today.

    Curve and slider both looked good.

    Sinker generated some GB’s.

    Not his best outing by a long shot.

  27. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:47 pm


    Could you tell what type of pitches they were ?

  28. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:48 pm


    Manny’s stuff was fine.

    Control wasn’t.

    It will come round.

  29. blake March 8th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    The double of Banuelos that got him in trouble was a chopper and Sizemore was playing way off the line for some reason…..then he nibbled for the walk and grooved one to Carter and he deposited it.

    I thought he looked great considering…..I just
    Want him to get innings this year…..if he can help in September fine…..but mostly get innings and be healthy

  30. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 5:56 pm


    I was sort of surprised by Sizemore’s position on that play.

    Almost seemed like he was expecting a bunt or something.

    He had no chance on that ball because of it.

    Easy double.

  31. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t have a very refined eye in identifying pitches, but everything was belt-high or above, very few obvious sinkers or curves, His last strikeout was the total opposite.

  32. yankeefeminista March 8th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for the info, all. I am going to watch the replay/or archives after dinner.

    As for ManBan, all I care about is that he is healthy; everything else will take care of itself with him. He just needs reps.

  33. yankeefeminista March 8th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Kiley McDaniel ?@kileymcd 27s
    Huge draft news: San Diego prep LHP Brady Aiken (UCLA commit) was up to 96 mph today vs. Alex Jackson in a scrimmage: “easy mid 90′s” -scout
    Anyone seen Aiken’s throw?

  34. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 6:02 pm


    I missed Nova’s 1st inning. Saw the rest.

    When he gets in trouble it’s usually because he throws too many 4-seamers.

  35. tomingeorgia March 8th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Maybe he was trying to work on the 4-seamer. Wasn’t working today, if that’s what it was,

  36. blake March 8th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I was sort of surprised by Sizemore’s position on that play.”

    Looked like they were just playing him to go the other way or something…..he was way off the line

  37. JimmyT March 8th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Manny looked pretty pumped up to be out there; couldn’t locate anything at first. Cant really blame the kid after sitting for so long. Thought he made a decent pitch on the double, but hebrirned on it and got it right down the line. Get me over pitch got taken for a ride. After that he settled in a bit. Hitting 93-94 is great at this point, and with his free easy motion the ball really explodes out of his hand.

    Nova started out shaky, couldn’t find the plate and when he did it got smacked. Second inning he got a bit unlucky; seeing eye grounder and a fliner to the dead zone. He bounced back after that and seemed to find his command a bit, and got his curve over for strikes. Good to see him work his way out of a funk; he’s not always going to jump out of the gate with everything working so it’s good tonsee him work a little. If the kid can be consistent he’ll be a huge boost out of the four spot.

  38. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 6:16 pm


    Even thought the velocity on it is real good the command usually isn’t.

    I’d almost rather see Nova pitch backwards more often because of it.

    Bucholz had a similar problem. His 2ndary stuff was way better than his FB.

    In his case his FB was straight as a string.

    Nova’s isn’t straight but he just does not locate it well.

    At this point in his development I’d be surprised if he ever will.

    So you go w your strong suit(s) IMO.

  39. JimmyT March 8th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Manny buried that pitch in there pretty good; I was surprised he was able to keep it fair.

  40. UpState March 8th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Ervin Santana :


    4 teams ‘in the running’ for him.

    Was initially reported that the Jays got him for 1 year @ $14,000,000

    …..guess that was a bit premature !

  41. Pat M. March 8th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Yankeefem…..I saw both guys last August in Long Beach Ca for the area code event. Aikens might be the top Prep pitcher in the USA… Of the top 15 HS kids in So. Calif, I think 5-6 are committed to National Champs UCLA. Quite a program, and a guy to keep an eye on is Aiken’s teammate 3rd baseman Sean Bouchard ( spelling ? )

  42. Jerkface March 8th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    WOW = that was a shot by Johnson. Chad’s been saying for a while that a L/R platoon doesn’t make sense given the fact that Johnson can actually hit LHP.

    Eh he really can’t hit LHP though. The past 3 seasons he has hit .231 .291 .342 vs LHP. His season last year was basically a babip fluke because he had zero power vs them. He has also been pretty strictly platooned vs them as well.

    If Kelly Johnson could actually hit lefties, Joe Maddon would have let him hit lefties.

  43. Jerkface March 8th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I dont know what the TV showed, but from my POV at the game it looked like Nova was just crazy up in the zone. Hardly any ground balls at all, very hard hit. His curve still looked outstanding.

    It was exciting to see Manny back from TJS even if he did get knocked around.

  44. Tar March 8th, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I thought Manny looked great…especially being his first start.

    Part of the blame for that bomb has to fall on Cervelli… he called for the pitch and Manny basically hit his glove. Up and in would have been a much better call. Cervelli is dangerous behind the plate I tell you. I really hope we trade him.

  45. Chip March 8th, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    JF –

    That’s what the TV showed about Nova too.

  46. Pat M. March 8th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Wait a minute…Isn’t Kelly Johnson’s numbers vs. lefthand pitching actually better than seeing righthander’s ???

  47. Ys Guy March 8th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Kyle Lohse, who waited almost till camps opened last year to get signed by the Cardinals (3/$33M is still complaining about how the draft pick compensation is “ruining baseball”

    The players who are whining are ignoring the simple fact that they had to TURN DOWN a qualifying offer of $14M (this year) to be affected by it

    Cry to your agent who overestimated your value, dude

  48. MTU March 8th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Over here ——->

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