Manny Banuelos talks about Dellin Betances ... and a little about Manny Banuelos
JN: You've watched Dellin all year. How much do you think he's improved since April?
MB: Now he looks very comfortable compared with time before. His last start was very impressive. He threw very hard, he threw a lot of strikes ... it was pretty impressive.
JN: Was that his best start of the year?
MB: Yeah. He had a couple of good starts before, but I watched him all game and he looked very comfortable and aggressive the whole time.
JN: Had he not had that aggressiveness all year?
MB: He tried to, but he's still working on mechanics and some other things. I saw him aggressive all year, but this time ... wow ... all his stuff.
JN: In the beginning of the year, do you think that blister was hurting him more than maybe he was letting on?
MB: I saw his finger .. it was really bad. Every day we saw his finger, and it was getting better. I think he came back very quick (considering how bad it looked).
JN: With all the expectations on him this year, do you think there's more pressure on him than in past years?
MB: No, no. I saw him all the time relaxed. He knows what he's doing.
JN: Do you remember the first outing you saw him, way back when you both were in the Gulf Coast League together?
MB: Really tall! For the hitters, I saw him pitching and throwing really hard. I said, 'Man, he's really tall and he throws really hard. It's impossible to hit!'
JN: Did you know about him before that game, about how much money he got and what kind of pedigree he had?
MB: I never had seen him before. I'd said hi to him, but we'd never talked. Before that game, never. I just saw him pitch and said 'Who is this guy? Where is he playing? Is he in Low-A? Is he here for a rehab?' I said, 'Man, this guy's nasty."
JN: You two guys have been linked together for a while now. Have you become friends because of it? Are you guys closer because it's Dellin and Manny or it's Manny and Dellin?
MB: I like to talk to him. I like him like a player and like a friend. We talk a lot about baseball and about families and also about friends. He's not my friend just for the baseball, cause I like him like a person. He's nice. He's a really nice person.
JN: What does he do off the field for fun?
MB: I like to see him when he starts to dance. When we're at the hotel we play music and we laugh and he starts to dance really funny. He's really good.
JN: Can he breakdance?
MB: Yeah. He can dance everything. It's funny because he's really tall. You see a big guy dancing and it's really funny. His moves and everything, we laugh and we make fun.
JN: Are you as good a dancer as he is?
MB: No. Not like that.
JN: If I asked him what you do off the field to relax, what would he tell me?
MB: I have no idea, man. I have no idea. You have to ask him.
JN: You don't do anything off the field?
MB: We talk a lot, but nothing special.
JN: What does it mean to be an All-Star for the first time?
MB: I've been an Arizona Fall League Rising Star and I went to the Futures Game in 2009. ... I am pretty happy for making the All-Star. It's hard, but I'm surprised because I haven't done very well in the season and I made the team.
JN: What do you to improve in the second half?
MB: I just want to come in pitching like I want. I haven't had any starts where I've come in being aggressive or with my command. I just want to throw all my stuff like last year.