Tap-In Question: Do you keep Dylan Bundy in the rotation? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: Do you keep Dylan Bundy in the rotation?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon


We can’t have a discussion at Connolly’s today without tapping into the most interesting issue currently facing the Orioles.

No, I’m not talking about Ubaldo Jimenez or Hyun Soo Kim or even prospect Hunter Harvey, who will have a MRI on his right elbow Monday after leaving Saturday’s game at Aberdeen in the second inning due to a potential flexor mass strain.

The Harvey news is concerning considering the 21-year-old just came off the disabled list (sports hernia), has had flexor mass discomfort previously and that injury has, at times, become a precursor to elbow ligament trouble for pitchers.

More will be learned on Harvey’s situation in the coming days, but it serves as an interesting lead-in to the subject every Oriole fan is talking about: Dylan Bundy.

The 23-year-old phenom made his first big-league start Sunday and allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings in a loss against the Tampa Bay Rays. He gave up five hits, including three home runs, walked three and struck out four. He threw a major-league, career-high 70 pitches.

The numbers weren’t particularly good, but given that he had never gone beyond three innings or 57 pitches this year as a reliever, it was an understandable and acceptable performance.

Now, does he get another? And another? That’s what I want to know from you today. So grab yourself a mug and we’ll hash it out.

Vance Worley, who pitched in relief of Bundy on Sunday, will start Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Frankly, I think it is about time he gets another shot at the rotation. Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson are both at Triple-A Norfolk hoping to get called back soon.

Odrisamer Despaigne and your old friend Ubaldo Jimenez are in the bullpen for now.

Given those alternatives, I understand why Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave Bundy the ball on Sunday. And, until the Orioles trade for another starter, Bundy is, at the least, an occasional spot-start option.

But what happened Sunday is probably going to happen for a while with Bundy. The former No. 4 pick overall is learning to pitch at this level. And he is doing it in his first full season since 2012 (he’s missed time due to elbow-ligament surgery and calcification in his shoulder, among other injuries).

I, for one, loved what the Orioles were doing with Bundy: Giving him opportunities, stretching him out, but not putting too much pressure (or too much of a workload) on him.

But I’ve also seen this rotation perform. And, yes, it desperately needs help.

So this is where I’m asking for your opinion. Do you want to see Bundy continue in the rotation, even if he’ll have his share of three- and four-inning starts in a pennant race? Or do you think he should go back into the bullpen and continue to build up arm strength and endurance there – and return to the rotation only when he can do five innings or more?

Tap-In Question: Do you keep Dylan Bundy in the rotation?



  1. OsDent

    July 18, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Keep him in as long as he shows that he is not over matched. Everything they are doing with Bundy is for next year. Think team should just stick with what they got and see how far they can go.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Here’s my point: if everything were for next year with him, he wouldn’t be starting now. That wouldn’t happen until September. This is a pennant race and they are starting a guy who is still building endurance.

  2. Dante

    July 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Bundy should get more opportunities to start. Orioles hitters need to be more selective with their swings. Be aggressive in the strike zone early. Don’t chase up. Give Bundy some run support and he’ll be alright.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 9:16 am

      He’ll get run support. This team will score — even if the approach wavers.

  3. SMAC8567

    July 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

    The starting rotation is a mess. Give him a couple more starts to see if he can improve. I think nerves and endurance were an issue yesterday. I think he improves with each start. Just my worthless two cents.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Not worthless at all. No question he has the talent.

  4. Creatively_19

    July 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Dan, I only saw the first inning of yesterdays game, but it gave me some hope. Bundy’s pitches were mostly really good, but Longoria was sitting on that fastball. I’m eager to see Bundy pitch again on Friday. My gut feeling is that Bundy starting is only temporary until the O’s bring in another starter (via trade) for the back end of the rotation. I don’t believe there is any chance he starts every 5 days for the rest of the season, as he must be on some innings cap this year that the club just will not go past no matter what. Regardless of however it plays out, it should be fun to watch.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Definitely fun to watch. The talent is there. And there definitely was an innings cap to start the season.

  5. flyskimmy

    July 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    The bullpen is full of long relievers now. Leave him as the starter with a quick hook. If he’s cruising let him extend a bit.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

      I guess the question is what is extend a bit. When your arm tires, mechanics can get compromised, leading to more susceptibility to injury.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Dan, I think you hit the collective O’s fanbase’ nerve with this question. I believe I stated last week that I’d rather go down with Ubaldo that hurt this kids arm again. I know the O’s know what they’re doing MUCH more that I know what they’re doing, but I’m still not on board with starting him. It undo puts pressure on him in that he’s going to naturally feel that he’s needed to pitch further into games. He’s obviously a competitor, and would most likely want to help the organization in the way they need helped. And that’s by pitching more and more innings. In Buck I trust … but this strategy certainly worries me. This isn’t a Strato-matic team we’re dealing with.

    Here is what I don’t understand … Why didn’t they start Worley instead, and let him try to eat the innings? If need be they could then have brought in Bundy behind him. Isn’t it the AlaskadO’sFan that’s been proposing this piggy-back starter concept? It’s seem like that is what they are doing … but is it in the right order? I think not.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, but along with the collective Os’ fanbase nerve, you’ve hit mine.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Problem is they needed 2 starters. Worley starts Tuesday. And love the Strat-O-Matic line

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm

        Somehow I knew you’d recognize the Strat-O-Matic reference.

      • Mau

        July 18, 2016 at 7:36 pm

        My 2 cents says use 1 start in the rotation by committee for the foreseeable future. Bundy and Ubaldo are part of the committee. The first committee member should be able to show the ability to get out of the first inning relatively unscathed more than not. Ubaldo hasn’t been a very good first inning P. Bundy struggled in the first inning yesterday but he’s the one who has to master it. Bundy is a young up and comer, Ubaldo seems to be on the downside. Bundy, Ubaldo, Despaigne and Givens are the rotating committee. Bundy starts and can gradually extend his innings pitched or not. Meanwhile, get another SP O’s.

        I seem to remember past O’s teams using the committee approach. Seems like a good idea to me given the hand the O’s front office dealt Buck re: P’s this year. Call me crazy.

  7. ZantiGM

    July 18, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Bundy’s pitch count will be up to 80 after a couple more starts and should help us in Sept with 5-6 inning starts.WE need to DFA Jimenez and keep Worley in the bullpen.Keep Wright,Wilson and McFarland at AAA-they stink

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 11:05 am

      80 still may not be enough to get 5-6. Last two outings: 56 for 3; 70 for 3 1/3. And if they DFA Ubaldo, is it true you are willing to pay the $20 million still owed?

  8. RagingC

    July 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    It feels a little short sighted. Bundy himself said that he is not ready to pitch more than 3 innings. I would hate to see him burn out, but I understand Buck’s predicament. With the state of pitching in the league , it’s unlikely that we will see Bundy for more than a few seasons anyway. So I guess I am in the Bundy should start camp too. He has a way to go yet, but is the best option to win this year. The O’s are the team to beat right now and need to act accordingly.

  9. Rob

    July 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Yes. The O’s need a much larger sample size and the back end of the season is perfect opportunity. It’s not like he’s taking starts away from Mike Mussina. Plus, the O’s need to consider that he’s going to only give them 3 to 5 innings and plan accordingly with long relief. It’s a collective effort.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 18, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      But can you do that three times every five days?

  10. Kubrick68

    July 18, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Either way keep him at his innings and pitch limit, with the Orioles track record of young pitchers they can’t afford to let him get hurt again, especially with the injuries to Harvey and Lee. They simply do not have any young pitchers left.

    • Steve Cockey

      July 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Hard to argue here. Their track record certainly isn’t great, and they can’t afford Bundy hurt. Like you said, keep bringing him along slowly pitch-count wise, regardless of whether he’s starting or in the pen.

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