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Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #1 by ofahn » June 29th, 2013, 10:36 am

Dylan Bundy’s recent medical misfortune has to raise questions about his future role with the Orioles. Because he was signed to a ML contract when he was drafted in 2011 his options’ clock started last season. It’s been reported that the Orioles might receive a fourth option for him; however, that would only carry them through the 2015 season.

Considering that Bundy will lose all of the 2013 season and probably most of the 2014 season, the Orioles will probably have to use his 2015 option to begin rebuilding his innings. How many innings do you risk on an arm that has just undergone Tommy John surgery?

Let’s suppose the Orioles allow him to pitch 100 innings in 2015. That would mean he would probably be allowed to go about 130 or 140 innings in 2016; however, those innings would have to be in Baltimore because the team won’t have an option for him that season. If the Orioles want him to be a SP then they would either have to use him out of the bullpen until the beginning of June OR as a SP until the end of July and then put him in the bullpen for the rest of the season, but NOT during the playoffs.

When choosing between one of those options, keep in mind that this is a pitcher that the organization had evaluated as not yet having adequate command of his curve or slider, which means he had only TWO ML pitches that the team was willing to allow him to throw. That profiles as a reliever, not a SP.

So; the reality of the situation is this: for Dylan Bundy to be a ML SP he would have to 1) rebuild his arm strength; 2) rebuild his endurance; 3) regain (and improve to a ML level) his command and control; and 4) learn to command TWO breaking pitches in about 100 innings while not over stressing a newly surgically repaired arm.

Considering his self-discipline and dedication I have no doubt that Dylan Bundy would do everything he could to make that happen, but IMO it’s unrealistic to expect that and there’s an excellent chance that he would just hurt himself again.

The Orioles have two choices. They could NOT option him next season and allow him to accumulate service time while sitting on the 60 Day DL. He could finish the year on a rehab assignment for whatever innings he was able to pitch. This would give them an option for the 2016 season. Or, they could decide to just convert him to an end of the game reliever.

Allowing him to accumulate service time will ultimately cost this team money and, since virtually ALL of their decisions seem to be based on money, you have to wonder if they would make that choice. IMO the best solution would be for the two sides to renegotiate his contract to cover the next three seasons or so and include reasonable incentives for games started or finished, thus taking the question of service time pretty much out of the decision making process. If the Orioles make such an offer I hope that Dylan will consider it because it would mitigate the ill-advised decision both sides made in giving him a ML contract in the first place.

The other option is to simply convert him to a closer in waiting. If the Orioles do not decide to save an option next season and use his last one in 2015 to rebuild his innings then he would almost certainly not be ready to be a SP for the entire 2016 season. By that time this team should see itself as a perennial contender and almost certainly could not afford to use a spot in their starting rotation for a pitcher that they KNEW was not going to be able to produce for the entire season, much less the playoffs. Even if they wanted to take such a gamble it would be on the unrealistic assumption that he would be ready to BE a productive ML SP at that point.

The conversion process would be the safest way to assure that he would have a productive career during the time period the Orioles control him. If the team decides to do so they could use the 2015 season to allow him to regain the command of his FB and change up as well as allowing him to reintroduce his cutter to his reportage. That approach might make him ML ready by the end of July that year.

Yes, I accept that converting him would make him the THIRD #4 pick since 2008 that we have had to do that with, but the reality is that the ML contract he was given may make this the ONLY viable solution.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #2 by LA Detective » June 29th, 2013, 11:54 am

I remember when Carpenter came back from TJ he was sent to the Pen for an extended amount of time then eased back into the rotation. Of course they were at different points in their career but still could be used with Bundy.

I actually think he could be pitching in some compacidy towards the back half of 2014. This might allow him to get a little more than 100 innings in 2015 and be able to pitch close to normal command wise (usually phase two of TJ). At some point learning how to hit major league hitters out in the Pen would be great for him.

Great future thinking on this one OFAN.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #3 by dan72 » June 29th, 2013, 6:35 pm

Same situation Washington went through with Strasburg.
Maybe initially he will relieve, but you have to give him every opportunity to become a starter. You just dont spend a high first round pick on a reliever, unless we are talking about Matusz........
In 2014 I would expect to see a few innings late in the season, than in 2015 expect a 150 innings limit.

I hope the Orioles will learn from Washingtons mishandling of Strasburg.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #4 by OriolesRedskins28 » June 29th, 2013, 8:47 pm

No way do I want Bundy in the bullpen long term, out of the question. I think you are overestimating how far the O's thought he was from the majors. He pitched effectively at AA (in limited innings) in his first year out of HS and was lauded for his polish for his age. He was the #2 prospect in baseball entering the year and if not for the injury he would likely be close to getting a call up at this point..

He'll likely be able to get a decent number of innings in the minors in 2014 (and maybe some bullpen innings late in year with the ML club) which will set him up for 100-150 innings in 2015 where he'll likely start the season in the minors and work his way to the majors (as a starter) relatively quickly. A lot to project for a guy who just had TJ surgery but he's a good young athlete with a great work ethic. Any thought of him being a future reliever is extremely premature IMO.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #5 by birdwatcher55 » June 30th, 2013, 9:21 am

Too early to tell. See me in 2015 8-)
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #6 by ofahn » June 30th, 2013, 12:41 pm

LA Detective wrote:I remember when Carpenter came back from TJ he was sent to the Pen for an extended amount of time then eased back into the rotation. Of course they were at different points in their career but still could be used with Bundy.

The difference is that Carpenter had already learned to command all of his pitches and Bundy hasn't.

LA Detective wrote:I actually think he could be pitching in some compacidy towards the back half of 2014. This might allow him to get a little more than 100 innings in 2015 and be able to pitch close to normal command wise (usually phase two of TJ).

I expect him to pitch about 40 or so innings next year, but that still tracks out at about 100 or so in 2015.

LA Detective wrote:At some point learning how to hit major league hitters out in the Pen would be great for him.

I agree, but I challenge you to name the last successful SP the Orioles developed using that approach.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #7 by ofahn » June 30th, 2013, 12:42 pm

dan72 wrote:than in 2015 expect a 150 innings limit.


I think you're being VERY optimistic about 150 innings in 2015.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #8 by Old Sneakers » June 30th, 2013, 9:51 pm

150 innings... wow that wouldve been a high number this season had be been healthy start to finish. I agree thats way high in 2015, maybe 125 is possible.

As for a pro debut as a reliever... its certainly possible. My guess is that the team tries really hard to develop him as a starter.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #9 by Dons0's » July 1st, 2013, 1:06 am

Bundy wouldn't of had arm issues if they wouldn't have limited his innings in my opinion. Pitchers need to throw, with the talent that Bundy has/had he was to pampered from a working standpoint. He will comeback and be very good. I have no worries in him.
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Re: Is Dylan Bundy’s Future With The Orioles As A Reliever?

PostPost #10 by osforlife » August 9th, 2013, 10:47 am

Here's a nice interview with Dylan Bundy about his and his brother's progress.
http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roc ... to-be.html

That's the first time I heard about Bobby Bundy since his surgery. If both Bundys could get onto the mound again, that would give us two more nice 2015 pitching prospects to along with Rodriguez & Wright. I'd say Dylan makes about 13 starts in the minors in 2014. In 2015 and in 2016 he'll have an innings limit. We could choose to do Kris Medlen style or Stephen Strasburg style. But the Orioles will try everything they can to keep Dylan Bundy a starting pitcher.
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