Manny Banuelos to make his Spring debut


Manny Banuelos is only 22 years old, so it’s only right he sees a bright future for himself as he tries to prove to the Yankees he belongs in the organization. But before he can try to prove to the Yankees he can be effective, he also has to prove to them that he’s healthy after having his first Tommy John Surgery in 2012.

“It feels great,” Banuelos said. “I feel healthy. I don’t feel pain. Always (right after the surgery) I would throw, I would feel nervous like I would feel pain, but I don’t feel anything like that. So I’m happy for that.”

Banuelos wasn’t aware the surgeon that performed the first ever Tommy John Surgery, Dr. Frank Jobe, had passed away on Thursday, but was grateful to him although he was a total stranger.

“He saved a lot of careers,” Banuelos said. “That’s why I’m still here.”

Banuelos isn’t worried about the surgery, he says all he wants to do is pitch. He doesn’t feel like he has to prove anything since he’s done sim games and bullpen sessions, but he’s relieved he can finally do so without having to worry about if there will be pain in his elbow.

“I just did my tests already, a few months ago,” Banuelos said. “Just go pitch like before. Go out and try to get outs quickly, get the command, throw strikes. That’s all. … I’m not going to learn anything, but I will feel excited because (it’s been) almost two years and I’m not pitching in an inning, so (today) will be the first one. I can’t wait to see what will happen.”

Some Notes

Masahiro Tanaka‘s next start will be a sim game, which just so happens to be another adjustment he has to make. In Japan they don’t throw sim games, instead they play intrasquad games. Tanaka has no problem throwing a sim game, it’s just something they never did in Japan.

Brendan Ryan has a sore oblique and should be out until next week. Joe Girardi checked his MRI and everything seems to be fine, but they’re going to approach this slight setback with caution.

We think he’ll be fine next week,” Girardi said. “The MRIs came out good, so we think he’ll be fine. We’re probably being a little cautious because we can.”

— Girardi was asked which pitchers have impressed him the most this Spring and he mentioned two names: Dellin Betances and Fred Lewis. Everyone is interested in how Betances is doing but Lewis is under the radar.

“He’s [Lewis] a guy that you’re not going to worry about putting him against right-handers,” Girardi said. “… He gets a lot of ground balls.”

— Here’s your random moment of the day: Shawn Kelley and David Phelps were playing Michael Bolton’s greatest hits in the clubhouse this morning when David Robertson walked in. Phelps immediately changed the song to “Sweet Home Alabama”, which happens to be Robertson’s walk-in song. Hey, it was only fitting he entered hearing his walk-up song; he’s our new closer.

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