Yankees Pitching Prospect Banuelos to Undergo Surgery on Elbow

Manny Banuelos, the New York Yankees’ top minor league pitching prospect, will have surgery this week to repair a ligament in his left elbow that probably will force him to miss the 2013 season.

Banuelos, a 21-year-old left-hander, is scheduled for surgery on Oct. 4 in Pensacola, Florida, the Yankees said. The team didn’t give details of the injury or a timetable for Banuelos’s return, though it usually takes Major League Baseball players 12 to 18 months to come back from the procedure, known as Tommy John surgery.

Banuelos, who is listed as the Yankees’ top pitching prospect by MLB.com, had been sidelined since May 18, when the Yankees said he suffered a bone bruise in his pitching elbow. He was shut down for the season in August, at which time the team said Banuelos wasn’t expected to need surgery.

In six starts this year for the Yankees’ Triple-A minor-league affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he had a 0-2 record with a 4.50 earned-run average and 22 starts. Banuelos signed with the organization in March 2008 and has averaged 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings in the minor leagues.

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