Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Banuelos Could Make The Opening Day Roster As A Reliever


The battle in the bullpen is going to be one of the spring training competitions worth watching closely. As of now, David Robertson, Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton are the only pitchers that we can absolutely expect to be on the Opening Day roster.

As of now, the rest of the bullpen figures to be filled by the players already slated to be in camp next weekend — meaning the Yankees are unlikely to sign any free-agents before next Friday.

According to Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, there is actually a small chance that Yankees’ prospect Manny Banuelos could make the big league team as a second left-hander out of the bullpen.

A source told the duo that “Banuelos has got that big arm. If it’s still there and the lightning still strikes, then you’re going to hear people say, ‘f–k it, bring him with us on (Opening Day)’”

Banuelos, who will turn just 23 in March and considered to be one of the Yankees’ best pitching prospects, is coming off Tommy John surgery and has missed nearly the last two seasons because of elbow problems.

Realistically, it would be a much smarter move for the Yankees to instead let him start the season in the minors and try to work his way back.

He has been projected to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the rotation down the road, and putting him in the bullpen now rather than letting him try to become that solid Major League starter just doesn’t make sense.

I think that the only way the Yankees start him in the big leagues this season is if they have no other choice. Hopefully the bullpen shapes up better than it looks right now, and Cesar Cabral and Dellin Betances put together great springs to avoid this even being a topic of discussion.

Tags: Manny Banuelos New York Yankees News Spring Training

  • Jim Harper

    I would love to see him back as that heralded starter the Yankees hoped he would be. They protected him too many times before the arm troubles began when he could have been a valuable trade chip. They certainly learned from their mistakes with Joba. In my opinion you keep him as a starter and not ruin him by putting him in the bullpen. If he comes back at full strength the starting rotation could be the best in all of baseball. Let him get his confidence back at AAA before bringing him up.

  • Thomas Katona

    Why is it when yanks scout pitchers they never really pan out? Y cause yanks scouts suck their too used to the team buying older players so they just sit & watch the dam game. Time is on the yanks side this year. There’s only a couple positions to fill and if needed they will spend.

  • Thomas Katona

    Yanks possibly could have gotten Strasberg, He really didn’t sign for much this year! ( could b wrong ).