Myriad O's thoughts: Rickard out until September is tough blow; Bundy passes test; O'Day's return key -
Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s thoughts: Rickard out until September is tough blow; Bundy passes test; O’Day’s return key

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Rookie outfielder Joey Rickard has been a solid part of this club’s success in 2016.

And now he won’t play with it again until September. Given Rickard’s skills set – defense, speed and an ability to get on-base — that’s a pretty big blow, despite his inexperience in the big leagues.

“Joey’s been a big contributor for us and will be again,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’ll come at a time of need. It will be a nice September addition.”

Rickard did ligament damage to his right thumb while hitting the outfield wall in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. He played the rest of the game, and didn’t know the extent of the injury until Thursday. Though he won’t require surgery, he’ll be shelved four to six weeks, Showalter said Friday night.

“Unfortunately, because of the way you have to splint it and everything – it doesn’t require surgery – you’ve got to be very careful. I know I try to be about saying this guy had this injury and it took this long, because each one of these things are different,” said Showalter, who added that Rickard’s thumb was black and blue Friday. “You put it in the splint, immobilize and then you have to deal with the non-use of it, the atrophy or whatever. So it’s not like 4-6 weeks he’s a player, but we feel like he’s a guy that can join us in September if everything goes well with the rehab.”

Rickard was hitting .268 with five homers in 85 games. A Rule 5 pick from Tampa Bay, he had an outstanding spring, was the club’s Opening Day left fielder and reached base safely in his first 14 big league games. He slowed as the season went on and, ultimately, ended up in a platoon with Hyun Soo Kim.

But when Kim was put on the DL on Tuesday, it looked like Rickard would get a major increase in playing time. Kim (hamstring) could return from the DL as early as Tuesday and Showalter said the Korean outfielder was feeling better Friday. Meanwhile, Julio Borbon and Dariel Alvarez will be in line for more starts.

Kim’s return certainly will help, but Rickard’s absence will be felt when it comes to the club’s quality depth. One good thing, though. He has logged enough big-league time to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements, so that clock won’t restart next year. The Orioles, if desired, will be able to send him to the minors in 2017 without the potential of losing him to waivers.

Bundy experiment passes next test

I’m on record as saying I didn’t like the idea of moving 23-year-old rookie Dylan Bundy from the bullpen to the starting rotation this year, no matter how much help the club needs in that area.

I still have concerns long-term that the club has moved too fast with their best pitching talent after years of injuries.

But, hey, it sure looked like the right move Friday night.

Making his first start at Camden Yards and second in the big leagues, Bundy was excellent through five innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run against a really good Cleveland Indians team. The former first-rounder struck out five batters and didn’t walk any, earning his first victory as an Orioles starter after getting two this year in relief.

Bundy threw a career-high 87 pitches, 55 strikes. That’s probably still a little too inefficient to go really deep into a game, but it’s a pace that would get him to about 105 through six innings, and the Orioles would take that nearly every day from their starters.

Showalter said before Bundy’s start that it’s possible that he stays in the rotation for the rest of the year despite having his innings capped at an undisclosed number (which may have changed as the season has progressed).

“It could be, if (Showalter) said so. You know, that’s not up to me,” Bundy said about his role. “I’m just going to keep pitching whenever I’m supposed to, and that can all work itself out at the end of the year.”

The club is going to be careful with Bundy – he is an important part of the future – but if he continues at this pace and can routinely get into the sixth inning, that would be a huge boost for the club.

O’Day pitches one scoreless at Bowie

The Orioles look like they’ll soon be getting an integral part of their bullpen – team, really – back soon.

Right-hander Darren O’Day, who has been on the disabled list since June 3 with a hamstring strain, made his first rehab assignment Friday at Double-A Bowie.

He started the game, faced four batters, allowed one soft single and struck out two. He threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes. And came out of the game.

The best guess is O’Day will be activated for either Sunday or Monday.

“One inning, went well. Felt good,” Showalter said of O’Day. “We’re gonna have a discussion (Friday night) about what’s the next step there.”

Brad Brach has done a great job as the club’s primary set-up man, but having O’Day back gives the Orioles a 1-2-3 punch with closer Zach Britton. Plus, O’Day is good against lefties, something the bullpen has struggled with while he’s been on the shelf.

Loving the minors

By the way, O’Day and the rest of the Baysox wore funky, sparkly uniforms in honor of late musician/showman David Bowie. The club temporarily changed its pronunciation from Booo-eee to Bowe-eee for the night and played Bowie music throughout the game. The uniforms are being auctioned for charity.


In my next life, I’m coming back as a minor league promotions guy.



  1. claudecat

    July 23, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Hiya Dan!

    Just wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your site here since its inception. Finally created an account so’s I can comment from time to time.

    Love the Bowie thing, and I didn’t even like David! At all. Personal reasons, involving fear of clown makeup. But that’s a fun promotion.

    I wish the O’s did more wacky type promos. Those BBQ aprons just scream for a Kirby tie-in, right?. Or dress like a crab night. Or any crustacean for that matter. I dunno…

    We’re great at celebrating our past as an organization, not so creative otherwise. Maybe it could put a few more butts in seats on weekday nights against nobody teams if we had a cleverly themed night – no giveaway necessary – now and then. Just one goofball’s opinion.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 23, 2016 at 7:57 am

      So Cladecat, what is your goofball opinion of the wacky Crush Davis & Samson Bobblehead which I believe is the giveaway at tonight’s game? I personally will be glad to have it done and over and not have to see it promo’ed ever again! Is it a coincidence that Crush hasn’t been crushing since it was revealed a few weeks ago? Hmmmmmmmm… (do like the Bowie Idea though ….AND his music)

      • claudecat

        July 23, 2016 at 8:35 am

        That one does meet the wackiness criteria, but it’s not until late August. Maybe by then the Big Fella is on a hot streak.

        Today we have the batting practice cap, a fine item as well. I’d love to see a Manny and Schoop pairing in bobblehead form.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 23, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Welcome aboard and thanks for joining. The O’s have avoided theme nights over the years. In one sense those things are campy. Other hand, they can be fun. Wouldn’t hurt to try one on occasion, I suppose.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 23, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Dan, I’m with you on the long-term Bundy plan apprehension, BUT .. it WAS awesome watching him last night wasn’t it?

    PS … so much for the power outage. Repeat after me … there’s no place like home, there’s no place like …

    • Dan Connolly

      July 23, 2016 at 9:39 am

      It was fun to watch. Feel great fir the kid. As for the O, the most important run to witness was the sac fly set up by an excellent sac bunt.

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