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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
When could you see Manny B. or Betances next year?

By Andrew Marchand

When asked if Manny Banueolos or Dellin Betances would start at Triple-A this year, Yankees GM Brian Cashman left the door open.

"Probably," Cashman said. "But you never know."

You do never know, but the bet here is that Banueolos has to locate his fastball better and Betances needs to control his mechanics and dominate Triple-A before you will see them as a regular part of the rotation.

Banuelos, 20, combined to go 6-7 with a 3.75 ERA last year at Double-A and Tirple-A. In 129 2/3 innings, he struck out 125 and walked 71. That is almost five walks per nine innings, which is too many. He needs to get that down. But the youngster Mariano Rivera told me was the best pitching prospect he has ever seen, will again be the center of attention during the spring. Still, it seems like he won't be in the majors until mid-season, at the earliest, and a lot of things would have to happen to make that come true.

Betances got a taste of the majors at the end of the season, but I think he may be further from returning than Banuelos. Betances was part of the 40-man, while Banuelos wasn't. The Yankees don't have to protect Banueolos in the Rule-V draft because he was not called up for active duty, which will allow them to save a player. Betances, as part of the 40-man, had no roster implications.

In six innings 2 2/3 major league innings, Betances had six walks. He needs to be able to control his 6-foot-8 frame before he can be a regular member of the Yankees staff. He is just 23 so he has time, but he needs to show he can handle Triple-A before he is realistic option for the big club.

In Double-A and Triple-A combined, he was 4-9 with a 3.70 ERA. He struck out 142 in 126 1/3 innings. He also walked too many batters. He had 70 walks overall, which is five for every nine innings.

So they both need to be able to throw strikes before they will be trusted in the Bronx with a prominent role. Even Cashman admits it "probably" won't be at the beginning of the season. In my opinion, it won't be until mid-year, at best, and maybe not at all next season.