Top Yankees pitching prospect Manny Banuelos will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, it was reported Tuesday morning.
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.