Manny Banuelos finally making his Yankees debut 14 years after he was signed as a phenom out of his native Mexico was one of the best stories of the early Yankees season, but the 31-year-old’s time with the Bombers has come to an end again — for now. The lefty was designated for assignment before Tuesday night’s game to make room for J.P. Sears, who made a spot start.

“It was difficult,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, it’s a numbers game.

“One of the things that made it difficult on top of who the person he is and the story, and how much it’s been a joy to be around him every day and what he’s brought to the field every day, is we really think he can pitch and he hasn’t got a lot of opportunities.”

Banuelos, who was seen as multiple-inning protection for the starters, made just three appearances. That’s mostly because the Yankees starters were going deep into games, not a reflection of him. He pitched to a 2.16 ERA with eight strikeouts and three walks.

“He earned his way here. He was on the outskirts going into spring training and opened up everyone’s eyes,” Boone said. “And we certainly hope for the best for Manny. Selfishly, I hope he remains with us, but you certainly understand this situation in the process too.”

Banuelos will have to pass through waivers and can elect free agency after that or accept an assignment back to the minors.


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