With the 4th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, the Orioles passed on a chance to take the player many thought was the best player in the draft, Anthony Rendon, and instead took Dylan Bundy. Bundy was known as a polished high school pitcher who had top of the rotation upside. It was also said that even though he was a HS pitcher that he would get to the pros quickly because of that polish. Well, he did just that. In 2012, he threw 103.2 innings in Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie combined. In those innings, he struck 119 walked 28, gave up only 6 homers and only 67 hits. He dominated MiL hitters and even came up to the Orioles and pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Everything was looking great and that needed to be the case because they gave him a ML contract, which meant he went on the 40-man roster immediately. The downside to that contract is that the option clock was started immediately as well.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Then 2013 came around. Bundy got hurt in ST and never pitched. He had TJ surgery in late June of that year. He was able to come back last year and threw 41 innings before being shut down with a lat strain. The velocity and stuff was starting to come back before that happened, so it gave a lot of Os fans hope coming into this year.
In Spring Training, he reportedly hasn’t had great stuff but that doesn’t worry me as much as long as he is healthy. The idea that he could be holding back and just getting his arm stronger is probably accurate. However, the latest news that bothers me is the idea of limiting him to 100 innings. Now, I am not sure I buy that they will actually do this if he is healthy and pitching well but, for the sake of argument, let’s say they are going to be strict about that. If that is the case, that means next year is going to be a year where he will basically have to be in the bullpen for a decent amount of the year. He will need to be on the 25-man roster next year, so it would be nice if we can just insert him into the rotation and let him go. However, if you are going to limit those innings, it makes it tough to rely on him going more than 140ish IP in 2016.
What that really means is we can’t have Bundy go all out until at least 2017 and maybe not even until 2018. This is a very long time line for the Orioles to start really getting something back on their investment at the level they were expecting.
What does all of this mean? To me, I think it means you look to trade Bundy sometime during this year. Now, saying that, I am only trading him if he is being valued as a headliner in a package for a good young talent or a solid vet under contract for a while, like Cole Hamels. If that is the case and the Orioles are able to do that, I think you make the decision to trade Bundy and let another organization deal with the innings limits and the option limitations you have because of his contract.
Now, if the Orioles are actually planning on letting him go 130+ innings this year, that changes this for me. While I would still trade him for the right deal, I wouldn’t feel that it is as necessary as I do now.
If you are the Orioles, how would you handle Bundy?
Rob has interviewed guests from outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports, Baseball Prospectus, Athlon, Sporting News, MLB Network, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Info Solutions, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Sports on Earth, Grantland, NFL Network, FanGraphs, Football Outsiders, ProFootballFocus, etc. etc. The Baltimore native lives in Perry Hall with his Wife Lindsay, and two young sons. He has appeared as a guest on 105.7 The Fan, Q1370, and WNST 1570. Co-Host of The Warehouse: https://anchor.fm/the-warehouse Co-Host of Sports Tonight: https://anchor.fm/sports-tonight