(Trentonian File Photo/JACKIE SCHEAR)
The Thunder got a surprise start Tuesday evening against the
New Hampshire Fisher Cats from one of the bigger names in the Yankees minor
league system — lefthander Manny Banuelos.
He was transferred from High-A Tampa before the game.
The 5-foot-10 Banuelos has been considered one of the best
prospects in the Yankees organization ever since signing as an international
free agent out of Monterrey, Mexico in 2008. The high-water mark of his career
to date came in 2011, when he impressed in big league camp, posted a 3.59 ERA
in 20 starts with the Thunder, and was promoted to Triple-A Scranton
Wilkes-Barre while still just 20 years old.
Since that season, however, Banuelos has struggled to remain
healthy. He was shut down due to elbow pain after just six starts in 2012, and
missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery that October. In five
starts for Tampa this season, he recorded a 2.84 ERA.
To make room for him on the roster, the Thunder sent
reliever Jairo Heredia to Short Season-A Staten Island. Heredia had a 3.97 ERA
in seven appearances this season.