It was thought that after the Orioles brought up Manny Machado that it was also a preemptive statement that at some point they would be bringing up phenom pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, even though the Orioles were adamant this would not happen.
Now, that move has happened as Bundy will join the team Wednesday in Seattle as another arm in the bullpen. Bundy was drafted 4th overall last season out of Owasso High School in Oklahoma and is rated as the number 2 prospect in baseball in most national rankings. In his first season in pro baseball, Bundy posted a 9-3 record with a 2.08 ERA along with 119 strike outs in 103.2 innings pitched while ending the season at AA Bowie.
My personal take on this move is that it had to happen. This season the Orioles have made a habit of playing way more than 9 innings and the bullpen has a lot of innings on their arms, so Bundy will be working only out of the pen to give those guys some rest. It also helps that hitters have no scouting report on Bundy and at this point in the season that becomes a big part. When hitters don’t know what to look for, naturally it becomes harder to hit (not to mention he throws mid to upper 90s which is also hard to hit).
The Orioles were pretty outspoken in the fact that they would not promote Bundy, but when your tied for the AL East lead and play 18 inning baseball games, sometimes things change. I doubt very highly this is a permanent move and believe most likely Bundy will be back in the minors next season. As far as how he will produce over the next 2 weeks, and maybe beyond that, is up in the air.
From a pure “stuff” stand point, Bundy is major league ready, the question is about his command of those pitches. The good news for the Orioles is they have Matt Wieters who has caught any and every type of pitcher this season and calls maybe the best game in baseball on a nightly basis.
What ever happens with Bundy over the next couple weeks two things are certain. This adds another level of excitement to the Orioles late season push and its going to be one hell of a ride.
The future really is now.