New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules

New York Yankees: Manny Mania, Manny Rules

I took this picture of Joba Chamberlain on 8/1...

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By now, most of baseball has heard or witnessed New York Yankee pitching prospect Manny Banuelos.

Facing the Red Sox a-lineup this past Sunday night, Banuelos maintained such poise, considering skipper Joe Girardi told him just hours before that Sergio Mitre was scratched with stiffness.

Even though Banuelos gave up three walks against Boston’s best, the 20-year-old looked good. Banuelos didn’t allow a run to score and struck-out two batters. He throws mid-90’s and has a sick change-up.

Banuelos has left quite an impression this Spring Training, and not just with Yankees. Here are a few quotes about Banuelos:

“That guy’s 20 years old? He’s really good, and he seems to have an idea. Shoot, when I was 20, I was swinging with an aluminum bat.” – Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia NY POST

“I like everything about him. The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitches, he has the ability to do that.” Yankees closer Mariano Rivera ESPN

“I think for this young man’s future they should go slow with him, very slow,” – Red Sox manager Terry Francona said with a smile NY POST

It is confirmed from GM Brian Cashman that Banuelos will start in Double A. He has only made three starts total with Trenton, so it makes sense not to rush him.  Banuelos needs to pitching more innings, but it would seem impossible that the Yankees can resist not letting him into the Bronx at all in 2011.

As usual, rumors are swirling that Banuelos could show up in the bullpen mid-season, which brings back the Joba Chamberlain nightmare for most Yankee fans. Yes, Phil Hughes spent time in relief and look where he is now, but it was a shaky ride getting there.

Still, Cashman has to proceed with caution.

Banuelos is getting encouragement from all the right people, so the media will chase this kid. If I were Girardi & co. I would send Hughes and Chamberlain in to talk with this youngster prior to leaving Tampa for New York. Exchanging cell numbers and opening up a text friendly banter would not be a bad idea either.

I have been watching Banuelos since I saw him pitch a year ago, and have kept tabs on him ever since.

Before Lee gave the Yankees the Heisman, I wrote one possible remedy to what now is our reality, read this MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Cheapest Cliff Lee Back-Up Plan.

I still stand strong that the Yankees better not start with the Manny Rules, as they did with Joba. Rules no one knew for sure and seemed to change without regard for the young person’s mind that was at stake.

The Washington Nationals manager Mike Rizzo set a great example, when he announced the debut of phenom Stephen Strasburg. Rizzo made it clear that Strasburg was on a strict limit of 160 total major and minor league innings for the year. The plan was well thought out with the Nationals pitching coach and press releases were sent to the media in advance so no confusion.

I do not feel that the Yankees were as well planed with Joba or Hughes for that matter, as they were tossed around without much concern for more than the Yankees winning that day.

If Banuelos is going to pitch in 2011, then make that decision based on his progress and what is best for him, regardless of the team.

Banuelos is way to precious to not make sure this is done correctly.

That means that Girardi and new pitching coach Larry Rothschild have to be in charge and have the last say. Translation GM Cashman who should stick to acquiring players, not shaping them.


  1. Nice. I agree about the Joba Rules and the way that whole thing was handled. Just remember that if anyone questions how they handled Joba, you are stupid. Just call me stupid then. As for Banuelos, I'd rather see him sooner than later. He's good enough for the big leagues right now. In my perfect world, the fourth and fifth starter positions would be a swing between three guys and those three would be Nova, Colon and Banuelos.

    • Kate says:

      I agree will….I wish it would be Nova and Banuelos at the back-end but Cashman has a point that Banuelos needs to pitch more innings in Double A. I agree with him completely.

    • Kate says:

      Well, WilliamMaine it night nit include Nova any longer….which is ridiculous and unfair. I completely question how Joba was handled and truly believe it has effected him in the worst way.