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Manny Banuelos to undergo Tommy John surgery

Lefthander Manny Banuelos pitches for the Yankees in

Lefthander Manny Banuelos pitches for the Yankees in a spring training start against the Red Sox on March 14, 2011. Credit: AP

The Yankees 2012 injury bug just claimed its first victim of 2013.

Top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos will undergo Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out all of next season.

After making six starts at Triple-A (0-2, 4.50 ERA), the lefty's season ended in May when he was shut down with a sore elbow. After attempting to diagnose the issue all season, the Yankees finally decided on the ligament replacement surgery.

“He is out for the year,” Brian Cashman said Tuesday.

“It is a fact. You have to deal with it. This will hopefully solve (the problem) this year.”

The Trentonian first reported the news.

Banuelos began turning heads in 2010 after striking out 85 batters in 64.2 innings spread across three minor league levels. He was impressive in 2011 spring training and posted a 3.75 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A that season.

But while he continued striking batters out, control was also an issue for Banuelos, who walked 71 hitters in 129.2 innings in 2011.

Coming into spring training 2012, Banuelos was viewed as possible mid-season call-up, and the 2012 Minor League Baseball Analyst graded his potential as a No. 2 starter, noting that he was a “short, quick-armed pitcher who was inconsistent, but had periods of dominance. Produces pitch movement and high number of” ground balls.

But Banuelos didn't impress in spring training, allowing six hits and four walks in five Grapefruit League innings before struggling at Triple-A.

New York Sports