As the 2011 season wound to close, the Yankees, as they do every year, invited a few of their most promising prospects to Yankee Stadium to observe big league life. To add a little more flavor, they do it during a series with a Red Sox. This year, the team invited three pitchers: Manny Banuelos, David Phelps and Adam Warren. I caught up with all three hurlers during that series. Here's what Banuelos had to say about the experience, as well as a few other topics.
Josh Norris: When they told you in Scranton that you were coming to the Bronx, were you surprised?
Manny Banuelos: Yeah, but it's a good thing, coming here. This is the first time I've been to Yankee Stadium. It's great for me. It's awesome.
JN: With that in mind, what do you think of the place?
MB: I like it a lot up here.
JN: You think you'll make it back next year?
MB: I hope that (I do). I will work hard for next year, to get back as soon as possible.
JN: When Dellin got called up, how long did you wait before asking him about the place and what the experience was like?
MB: Dellin got here last year, with the same thing like me. (The rookie program) He showed me videos and pictures and other things, and talked about the stadium and the clubhouse and everything. And yesterday when I got here he showed me everything.
JN: What's the coolest thing you've seen here thus far?
MB: The clubhouse. (He said this as if there were no other appropriate answer) It's awesome, man. I like everything.
JN: Before the game today, Girardi said you guys had to 'learn the clubhouse.' What do you think that means?
MB: I don't know. I think we've come here just to get to know everything -- the clubhouse, the stadium, everything, the field, everything.
JN: Does it mean more to you that it's during a Red Sox-Yankees series?
MB: It's a good thing to come and see this series, to watch them and see what happens.
JN: When you see so many of these kids up here who have gone through the system with you over the past few years, what does it say to you about the Yankees' reinvestment in their farm?
MB: It's great, man. We've played a couple years back, played together in different leagues, and that's awesome to me, to see all those guys here in Yankee Stadium in the big leagues. It's awesome to see these guys pitch here.
JN: What was the best moment of the season for you?
MB: The great thing for me was early in the year, when I was in (MLB) spring training. That was awesome for me. I couldn't believe that, you know?
JN: Did the season go the way you wanted?
MB: Yes. Now I just want to see what happens next year, try to come back and do better, you know?
JN: That first start in Scranton, were you surprised by how many members of the media wanted to talk to you?
MB: Yeah (laughing). When I turned around in back of me there were a lot of cameras and reporters. That was awesome, though, all the media.