Banuelos, who began the 2012 season as MLB.com's No. 13 prospect, made just six appearances with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while dealing with what was termed a "bone bruise" in his elbow. His last outing came on May 18, although he was not officially shut down until Aug. 6. The 21-year-old left-hander went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings.
Recovery time for ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery is roughly a year for pitchers.
Signed by the Yankees as a 17-year-old in 2008, Banuelos rose rapidly through the club's system, reaching Triple-A in late 2011 at age 20. He was an Eastern League Midseason All-Star that season and finished the year at 6-7 with a 3.75 ERA in 129 2/3 innings split between Double-A Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
It's been a difficult season for young Yankees hurlers. Apart from Banuelos, Michael Pineda missed the entire campaign after suffering an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder. Dellin Betances, another heralded right-hander, posted a 6.44 ERA and led the Minor Leagues with 99 walks in 131 1/3 innings.
On Sept. 19, the Yankees relieved longtime vice president of player personnel Billy Connors of his duties. The 70-year-old served three stints with the club as its pitching coach and had most recently worked with rehabbing pitchers at the team's Tampa compound.