A year ago at this relative time I was telling you about a fireballing right-handed relief pitcher who was injured in an off-season car crash. He “sprained his throwing shoulder and also suffered multiple lacerations and contusions,” as I wrote then. It was a bit of a crapshoot as to whether the Dominican native would begin the year healthy let alone how effective he would be, and whether the injuries would be problematic all season.
The results are in, as they say, so let’s open the envelope and see how 2012 was for…
Manzanillo did start the season on an active roster, that of the Brewers Double-A affiliate Huntsville Stars of the Southern League. He made 12 total appearances between the start of the season — his first appearance was on April 8th — and June 22nd. That’s two and a half months of games and only 12 appearances.
Let’s break them down and explain.
Manzanillo pitched in three games out the bullpen and then was shutdown due to lingering shoulder issues. He pitched on April 10th and then not again until May 23rd.
It seemed to work as Manzanillo struggled out the gates because he was physically hindered. When he returned in late May, he strung together six scoreless outings of his next seven. A pair of non-scoreless outings later though, and Manzanillo was shut down again after a 2 ER performance on the aforementioned June 22nd. This would mark the end of his run in Double-A in 2012.
When he came off the disabled list he went on a two-game rehab assignment with the Rookie-level Arizona Brewers club. He then was assigned to the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, presumably to aid them in their quest for a Midwest League Championship, but also in part because he needed innings and the T’Rats were headed to the postseason for certain which meant more available innings. Manzanillo had only one bad outing, in the August finale, before finishing up the Timber Rattlers postseason with three scoreless outings.
It was the need for innings also which perpetuated Manzanillo’s stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2012. His results were lacking in the desert but the work was as important as, if not more so than, the numbers in that offense-heavy environment.
Heading into 2013 Manzanillo is a bit of a question mark. Assuming he comes to camp healthy and presumably in shape, I’d assume he’s likely to repeat the beginning of 2012 by breaking camp with Huntsville. Manzanillo remains on the 40-man roster to which he was added before the 2012 season so 2013 will be his second option year. He is still only 24-years-old (birthday was just over a month ago) and there are plenty of bullpen arms that come along in their mid-20s at their physical peaks. The Brewers don’t have to keep Manzanillo on the 25-man roster until 2015, so there’s time for him to finish his development and prove he’s put his physical issues from 2012 behind him.
You can request to follow Santo Manzanillo on Twitter, but he still hasn’t tweeted anything: @Manzanillo37