Atlanta Braves Manny Banuelos Back On Saturday, Jason Grilli and Mike Foltynewiz Not Too Far Behind
By Jeff Schafer
Braves Banuelos, Grilli and Foltynewiz Are Getting Close To Returning
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Manny Banuelos will return to the mound and make his first start of the 2016 Spring Training season on Saturday against the Washington Nationals. This will be his first action for the lefty since being shutdown for the season on September 6th.
On September 17th, Banuelos underwent successful surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The famous orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed the operation. The 24-year-old already had Tommy John surgery to the same elbow back in 2012 so it was great news when we heard that his elbow was structurally sound.
Banuelos appeared in seven games for the Braves in 2015 with six starts. He collected a 1-4 record with a 5.13 ERA during his first MLB season. The youngster had 19 strikeouts and 12 walks over his brief time in Atlanta.
If he can impress coaches and the front office in the final three weeks of the 2016 Spring Training, there’s a good chance he could be in the rotation to start the season. He is currently the only left-handed starting pitcher who has a shot at the 2016 Opening Day rotation.
Jason Grilli has faced hitters in batting practice in the past few days and he’ll throw in a simulate game for first time today. If everything goes smooth and no setbacks, there’s a chance he sees his first action of 2016 in Monday’s game.
The 39-year-old is trying to return from a ruptured Achilles tendon that happened in mid-July. Grilli was having a resurgent season with the Braves prior to the injury as he pitched in 33.2 innings, had a 2.67 ERA, 24 saves, 12.03 K/9 and 2.67 BB/9.
Mike Foltynewiz had one of his ribs removed after he was hospitalized late in September. He needed the surgery (which is called a thoracic outlet decompression) to repair a blockage near his rib that was affecting his pitching arm.
In 15 starts for the Braves in 2015, he went 4-6 with a 5.71 ERA. He most likely won’t be ready for the season opener and should start the season on either the disabled list or Gwinnett.
"throwing a sim game. #Braves #BravesST Mike Foltynewicz A photo posted by Kevin McAlpin (@kevinmcalpin) on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:57am PST"
It’s great to see these two pitchers back on the mound and Banuelos starting the game tomorrow. Things are looking brighter on the other side Braves fans!!