Manny Banuelos won his fourth game of the season Thursday night as the Gwinnett Braves beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 3-0 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Banuelos pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out three. His ERA is now 2.39, which is the fourth-best mark in the International League.
Banuelos has now made 10 starts this season. He's 4-0 and has allowed 43 hits in 52.2 innings, with 23 walks and 46 strikeouts.
The Braves are getting the exact type of season they wanted from Banuelos, who was brought back slowly from Tommy John surgery a year ago by the Yankees. He pitched in only 76.1 innings in 26 games (25 starts) last season, but the Braves hope Banuelos can get around 125 innings this year.
Atlanta already has five young starters in the big league rotation, with Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Mike Foltynewicz and Williams Perez. But with Banuelos doing well, he and fellow Gwinnett starter Matt Wisler are going to make their case for a chance to be in the Atlanta rotation in 2016.
Their success could tempt the Braves to use the pitching depth in a trade later this year to get another bat for the lineup. Scouts have told Scout.com that both Banuelos and Wisler have a chance to be solid number three or four starters in a big league rotation.
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Manny Banuelos does well again in AAA
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