The season for Banuelos might be near an end, and that’s not a suggestion that it was a disappointing 2015 for the former top prospect. Far from it, actually. After missing all of 2013 with TJ surgery, Banuelos pitched 76.2 innings across 3 levels of minor league ball in 2014 in the Yankee system. So far in 2015, he has pitched 104.1. According to MLB’s Mark Bowman, Banuelos has an innings cap somewhere in the 120-130 range, and the elbow inflammation could make Atlanta decide to just call the season a success and pick things back up with Banuelos in 2016. The inflammation isn’t particularly unusual or alarming for a former TJS guy. It just needs rest, and the Braves, by virtue of not being in any kind of pennant race where Banuelos could make a real difference, can easily provide that. Many fans will likely glance at his 2.49 ERA and consider this a substantial loss for the MLB staff. His walk rate (4.15 per 9), BABIP (.270), 4.45 FIP, and unsustainable strand rate (85%) all suggest that sub-3 rate wasn’t long for this world, so I actually doubt this has a major impact on the 2015 Atlanta Braves. If this is the last we’ve seen of Banuelos in the short term, 2015 proved to be a successful turnaround. The southpaw re-established himself as something useful, made his MLB debut, and looks to be on the path to some kind of MLB career.
Carpenter’s AAA ERA is an eye-catching 0.71. While it’s misleading, there’s the possibility for usefulness from Carpenter. The gopherball has always been and will likely remain an achilles heel for Carpenter, but his strikeout rate makes him optimistically acceptable for lower leverage middle innings.
While he’s uninvolved in this particular transaction, expect Mike Foltynewicz to be called up tomorrow to take Banuelos’s spot in the rotation. For tonight, the team will carry only 4 SP.