Injuries Hamper Yankees Prospects





NEW YORK—Every organization experiences injuries during the course of a season.
However, when it comes to the names on the Yankees' injured prospect list, the letters might as well be in bold, 48-point type:

• Manny Banuelos: top pitching prospect.
• Austin Romine: top catching prospect.
• Jose Campos: big-arm youngster in the Michael Pineda deal.
• David Adams: second baseman hasn't been the same since a 2010 ankle injury.

"It opens up more ambiguity with evaluating the player," assistant general manager Billy Eppler said. "It becomes pretty difficult as far as assessment of the players go."

Banuelos, who took a step backward in 2011 and didn't show much in spring training, has been on the disabled list in Triple-A twice this season with a rib-cage problem and then an elbow injury.

One day after pitchers and catchers reported to spring training, Romine complained of a lower-back problem. It took until early June for him to return to the minor league camp in Tampa to begin baseball-related activities after rehabbing an inflammation problem at home. When he plays in games isn't known.

Campos was pitching well for low Class A Charleston until the elbow barked. The Yankees say it's nothing structural, just tightness.

An ankle injury for Adams made the Mariners back off the Cliff Lee deal in 2010 and cost Adams the rest of that season and most of 2011. He looked good in spring training but neck spasms landed him on the DL. He returned in mid-June.

"Some guys you look at to be assets," Eppler said. "And hopefully form a core group."

First, they have to be on the field.

YANKEE DOODLES

• Promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Empire State, Ronnier Mustelier hit .316/.360/.491 in his first 43 International League games. The Yankees signed the Cuban outfielder last year for $50,000.

• The Yankees signed power-armed Dominican righthander Manolo Reyes for $600,000, though the 21-year-old's contract is still pending a background investigation from Major League Baseball.