The Yankees got some bad news Thursday as three of the organization's top prospects were placed on the disabled list.
Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, both starters at Double-A Trenton, will miss time this month after each developed a blister on his pitching hand. Class A Charleston catcher Gary Sanchez, one of the Yankees' prized backstops in the Minors, is sidelined with an abdominal injury.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he thinks the blisters are a result of the hurlers transitioning from throwing Major League-model baseballs, with slightly larger, raised seams, to the Minor League balls used at Trenton, according to the Newark Star Ledger. While the balls, both assembled by Rawlings, are the same size, the seams tend to be slightly flatter on Minor League models.
Mark Newman, the Yankees' senior vice president of baseball operations, told the Trentonian that Betances is expected to only miss one start and could return to action when he's eligible April 18.
Lefty Banuelos, MLB.com's No. 35 prospect, had appeared in only one game this season after missing time to be with his sick grandmother. His move to the DL is retroactive to April 12, so he's eligible to return April 19.
"He is not an option right now," Cashman told ESPN.com. "Could he pitch for us in 2011? He could pitch for us in 2011 possibly, but he is not being considered right now."
The 6-foot-8 Betances debuted against New Hampshire on April 10, when he allowed one earned run over four innings and took the loss. He was placed on the seven-day DL retroactive to April 11.
The New York City native grew up in Brooklyn and went 8-1 with a 2.11 ERA over 17 starts between two levels last summer.
The Yankees promoted Brian Anderson from Class A Short-Season Staten Island to take his place on the Trenton roster.
Sanchez entered the season as the organization's top offensive prospect outside Triple-A catcher Jesus Montero. The Dominican backstop signed with the Yankees for $3 million as a 16-year-old international free agent in July 2009 and stands at No. 32 among MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects.
He was batting .238 with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs in his first five games as a RiverDog. The 18-year-old hit a combined .329 with eight homers and 43 RBIs between the Gulf Coast Yankees and Staten Island last season. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has indicated Sanchez is likely to return in the early part of next week.
Nick McCoy, a 36th-round pick last summer out of the University of San Diego, was promoted to Charleston from extended spring training.