It’s one of those questions in which the answer isn’t encouraging either way.
Is Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy hurt?
He says no.
“Physically, I’m fine,” said Bundy, who allowed an MLB-record four home runs without recording a single out in a 15-7 loss to Kansas City. “I’m just not executing the pitches I need to right now.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter also says no.
“He feels good physically,” Showalter said. “I don’t think there’s been many people I’ve had (that’s) less of an excuse-maker than Dylan. He never grabs hold of anything other than the mirror in front of him. It’s disappointing for him as much as anything.”
Bundy had been dealing with some groin discomfort previously, but not Tuesday night.
“I had a little groin tightness in California, but it’s been fine and I was able to pitch (Tuesday),” Bundy said. “It really hasn’t been an issue.”
Maybe, Showalter suggested, Bundy could be dealing with a dead arm period, which many pitchers go through in March after they haven’t thrown for a while.
Showalter admitted he initially wondered Tuesday about the health of his 25-year-old righty, who has allowed 22 runs (19 earned) in nine innings over his last three games after yielding just five runs in 31 2/3 innings in his first five starts of 2018.
“Of course. When you see somebody that’s that good. His shoulder feels good. He had a little groin thing some, but he said that’s fine, not an issue. Like a lot of guys, if I told you every little thing that guys got treated (for) before starts, we’d be in here all day,” Showalter said.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things after every game to see if there’s something we need to make an adjustment with. We’ll continue to do that. If I didn’t know better, it’s almost like was going through like a spring training dead arm period,” Showalter added. “But his pure velocity or whatever is very similar. It’s just the finish on the pitches and some of the command of things. He’s usually a guy with really good command.”
So, Bundy isn’t hurt.
And that’s encouraging.
But Bundy’s not hurt.
And that’s a real concern.
His velocity has been pretty steady this year: Low 90s. He hit 92 mph a couple times Tuesday, but mainly threw his fastball at 90-91.
So, what’s up?
“I feel the exact same. My mechanics feel the same. It just seems like I’m missing off the plate, down or up, and then missing right down the middle and they hit it over the fence,” Bundy said. “Just gotta get better and work on it in between starts.”
What does he need to specifically improve on in those side sessions?
“The ball hitting the glove exactly where I want it to is the main thing, and I should be able to do that and I haven’t been able to lately,” he said.
Bundy is a worker. There’s no question he’ll try and figure things out. And maybe he has no finish on his pitches because he is going through a dead-arm period. That would explain the sudden implosion.
And, given Bundy’s previous injury history and current importance to this team, it’s definitely a good thing he says he feels healthy.
But if he’s fine physically that creates other questions.
Because Bundy didn’t just have a bad start Tuesday. He had one of the worst in baseball history.