YMLN - Banuelos Picking Up Where He Left Off

Banuelos had the curveball working on Sunday

TAMPA, FL - With the impending rain on Sunday, the Yankees canceled their minor league games against the Pirates and played intrasquad games instead. It didn't matter to Manny Banuelos who he was facing because he once again stole the show, leading the Tampa Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs in a rain-shortened affair.

  • Manny Banuelos pitched 1 2/3 innings, gave up two hits and a run [unearned] while striking out four batters. Only one of the base hits were solid, a single by Luke Murton [who also doubled later in the game], and the other was a blooper that dropped between the second baseman and right fielder. He had all three pitches working, especially his curveball. In fact he had DeAngelo Mack [2-3, K] backing out of the box on a called strike curveball. It was nasty.

  • As good as Banuelos has been in camp thus far, Abraham Almonte is arguably hotter at this point. He followed up his three-hit game on Saturday with two more hits on Sunday, one of which was a laser double over the centerfielder's head. He promptly stole third and then scored a run on Jose Mojica's [0-1, RBI] sacrifice fly. He grounded out sharply in his second at-bat and later laced a single to left field while batting right-handed.

  • Tampa's Starting Lineup: Abraham Almonte, Corban Joseph, Jose Mojica, Mitch Abeita, Melky Mesa, J.R. Murphy, Joseph Talerico, Zoilo Almonte, Kelvin Castro, and Trent Lockwood.

  • Graham Stoneburner opposed Banuelos on Sunday. The final line [2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 K's] belies the stuff he was showing. He had his normal fastball-slider combination working and he was showing a pretty good changeup too. He was done in by two extra-base hits, one by Almonte and one by the hitter below.

  • J.R. Murphy not only continues to get at-bats with the Tampa squad, he continues to impress. The team's designated hitter on Sunday, he went 1-1 with a ringing RBI double into the right-centerfield gap and later walked. He has been putting together some quality at-bats in camp.

  • Charleston's Starting Lineup: Carmen Angelini, Fernando Perez, Anderson Feliz, Luke Murton, Nathan Aron, Judd Golsan, Garrison Lassiter, DeAngelo Mack, Jackson Valera, and Kelvin Duran.

  • Carmen Angelini scored the lone Charleston run on Sunday even though he failed to get a hit. He reached base on an error in his first at-bat, promptly stole second base, and scored the run on the Murton single.

  • Arguably even more impressive than Banuelos on the mound Sunday was right-hander Brandon Braboy. Sitting mostly 93-94 mph with his fastball, he was mixing in his usual quality changeup and a sharp looking slider. He walked the first batter he faced on five pitches and then he seemed to get angry, and seemingly didn't throw another ball. He struck out the final four batters he faced in quick fashion over his 2 1/3 inning appearance. He was dominating.

  • Don't look now but Melky Mesa reached base safely twice on Sunday, including drawing a walk. He smacked a single to left field in his first at-bat, immediately stole second base, and scored on Murphy's double. He also stole another base after drawing a walk in his final plate appearance.

  • Corban Joseph [0-2, 2 K's] continues to struggle with the bat in the early going, but he made a tremendous defensive play at third base where he made a diving stab on a hard-liner down the third base line and doubled-up a runner with the bases loaded.

  • Sean Black was rolling right along in his scheduled two-inning outing, retiring the first five batters he faced [two via the strikeout] before seeing his command escape him. He walked the final two batters he faced before being relieved. Prior to that though, he was once again showing an improved curveball.

  • Jackson Valera caught the entire game for Charleston. Defensively he had a hard time slowing down the Tampa running game - Almonte and Mesa in particular, but did throw out Murphy leaning off first base - but he did put together some quality at-bats offensively. He grounded out hard in his first at-bat after working a full count, drew a walk in his second plate appearance, and later laced a double to left-centerfield.

  • Charleston batters had a rough go of it collectively on Sunday, striking out a total of fourteen times. Four batters - Fernando Perez [3], Anderson Feliz [2], Nathan Aron [2], and Judd Golsan [2] - each struck out at least two times.

  • Brad Rulon [1 IP, 1 H] and Shane Greene [1 IP, 2 H] each struck out three batters in their one inning of work for their respective teams. Rulon did it mostly with his curveball, but Greene was over-powering batters with a great looking fastball-slider combination. He was throwing strikes too.

  • In the 'uh-oh' category, Joseph Talerico split the left fielder and centerfielder with a hard-hit gapper, and showed his great wheels with what appeared to be an impressive triple. However, he missed first base and was called out on the first base appeal.

    Trenton-Scranton report by Kevin Levine-Flandrup

  • Zach McAllister started for the Scranton team and struggled considerably early on. He was sitting 87-89 MPH in the 1st inning, and commanded his slider well to the first few batters, notching a swinging strikeout on it to begin the frame. That was followed up by an E-5, walk, and a bloop single to load the bases, which were then cleared when he allowed a booming triple. After allowing a double to the next hitter, the inning was halted. When McAllister came out for the 2nd inning, he had cleary regrouped. The inning started with a solid double, but it led to nothing as the big righty then induced a groundball out and finished his outing with back-to-back strikeouts on 90 MPH sinkers.

  • Starting for Trenton was Jeremy Bleich, who was so efficient that he ended up pitching four innings despite only being scheduled for three. Bleich's velocity started off sitting 87-89 MPH, touched 90 MPH several times deeper into his outing, and he was commanding it to both sides of the plate. The curveball was his most impressive pitch on the afternoon, garnering the lefty four strikeouts, three swinging and one called. In his four innings of work Bleich gave up only one legitimately hard-hit ball, a single in the 2nd inning, and recorded the majority of his outs on popups and groundballs.

  • Scranton's Starting Lineup: Emerson Landoni, Francisco Sanatana, Edwar Gonzalez, Neall French, Javier Herrera, James Cooper, Jose Toussen, Luis Nunez, Hector Rabago, and Jack Rye.

  • Trenton's Starting Lineup: Isiaiah Brown, Dan Brewer, Ray Kruml, Jeffery Farnham, Marcos Vechionacci, Kevin Smith, Walter Ibarra, Addison Maruszak, Kevin Mahoney, and Eduardo Sosa.

  • Because Bleich was completely in control, the Scranton lineup did not have many bright spots, although in the later innings Rabago hit a HR, and former A's prospect Herrera ended up 2-3 with a well struck triple.

  • For Trenton offensively, Maruszak hit a no-doubter of a HR, Kruml showed off his blazing speed on a triple in his third at-bat, and both Ibarra and Sosa finished up 2-3.

  • The moment that generated the most buzz from the dugouts during the game was in the 4th inning when Bleich faced Santana. Before retiring the centerfielder on a ground ball to second base, the lefty from Stanford absolutely destroyed Santana's bat on a foul ball. The barrel of the bat split length-wise and shot about 30 feet in the air after exploding, clearing both the inner fence between the dugout and the field, and the outer, taller fence separating foul territory from a walkway. The complete half barrel landed about even with the firstbase bag, before coming to a rest on the dirt path as Yankees personnel, both players and coaches, marveled at the carnage.

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