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Manny Banuelos (elbow) out for season

08/06/2012 1:36 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Manny Banuelos’ 2012 season is over, as the Yankees have decided to shut down the left-hander for the remainder of the year, with the hope that he will be ready for winter ball.

Banuelos, 21, was rated as the Yankees’ pre-season No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, but has not pitched since May 18 with what the team has called a bone bruise in his left elbow.

On Monday, Yankees VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman made it official that the May 18 appearance was Banuelos’ last, telling ESPNNewYork.com that “He's not going to be back this season.”

The Yankees were unsure how the injury actually occurred, but GM Brian Cashman had previously said that reports given to him by team doctors over the last two months have been encouraging enough to make him believe Banuelos would return.

Instead, the lefty has been shut down, and while the Yankees don’t believe he will need surgery, they’re hoping he can play winter ball and be ready to go next spring.

"He'll recover from this," Newman said. "That's what our doctors say. We have no doubt about it. At this point, there is no reason to push it. We are trying to be as prepared as we can for next season."

Banuelos struggled early at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, allowing six runs on 14 hits and six walks in just 5.1 IP in his first two starts. He missed nearly three weeks after that second start, but after seemingly putting it together in his next three (two runs, no walks and 15 strikeouts in 14.1 IP), he allowed five earned runs in four innings against Toledo on May 18 in what ended up being his 2012 swan song.

The lefty’s final overall line in Triple-A this season: 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA, 22 K and 10 BB in 24 innings pitched over six starts.

Banuelos’ loss also marks the second top prospect to go down for the season in the last week; on Friday, outfielder Mason Williams, who was an All-Star at Class-A Charleston and had been moved up to Advanced-A Tampa, had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will also miss the rest of 2012.

And, in other mound matters, ESPNNewYork.com also reports that reliever David Aardsma (Tommy John surgery) likely will not pitch at all this year either. Aardsma had begun a rehab assignment in June, but was shut down after a setback, and while he has been throwing in Tampa of late, Newman told ESPN New York that "(Aardsma) is not close to returning" in the words of Newman.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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