Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Banuelos' absence forces a switch in the rotation

TRENTON — Late in spring training, all signs pointed to Yankees uber-prospect Manny Banuelos starting the Thunder’s opener tomorrow in New Hampshire.

He made his final tune-up on Saturday, which seemed to put him on track for the April 7 nod. David Phelps and Brett Marshall had done the same, and both are slated to start the openers for Scranton and Tampa, respectively.

Now, because of a family matter, the 20-year-old left-hander’s re-introduction to the Eastern League has been put on hold.

Banuelos traveled back to his native Mexico after camp broke to be with his sick grandmother, and was not at yesterday’s Media Day at Waterfront Park. He will re-join the team for its second series, in Portland, where he will round out the Thunder’s re-vamped rotation.

Announced yesterday, here’s how the Trenton’s starting five will stack up to begin 2011:

Tomorrow: Steve Garrison
Friday: Shaeffer Hall
Saturday: Graham Stoneburner
Sunday: Dellin Betances
Monday: Manny Banuelos

Garrison, a Trenton native and a graduate of the Hun School, in Princeton, will battle Zach Stewart at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in a matchup of the top two teams in the EL East from 2010.


At right, you can see the team’s official roster to begin the season. It features 27 players, so three of them will have to be inactive in one form or another by the time tomorrow rolls around. The team can do so by either placing a player on the disabled list or transferring him to the roster of the Staten Island Yankees, who do not begin play until June.

Catcher Nick McCoy is an obvious candidate to be knocked off the roster quickly, simply because he’s never played a game at either level of A-ball.

As for the other two players, well, that’s still up in the air.

“I really don’t know,” manager Tony Franklin, back for his fifth go-round with the Thunder, said yesterday in his office. “I can’t give you anything definitive about that. It will probably be a last-minute decision before we make that adjustment on the roster.”

There are no truly obvious candidates outside of McCoy, but one would imagine a pitcher and an outfielder would be the positions which could most easily spare a body.


Here’s a guess at what a lineup for tomorrow might look like:

1. Austin Krum - LF
2. Corban Joseph - 2B
3. Austin Romine - C
4. Melky Mesa - CF
5. Brad Suttle - 1B
6. Cody Johnson - RF
7. Damon Sublett - DH
8. Addison Maruszak - 3B
9. Jose Pirela - SS

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