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?