BALTIMORE — After manager Buck Showalter offered cryptic comments last week about the potential call-up of top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, it now appears the 19-year-old won’t be pitching for the Orioles in September.
Bundy will remain with Double-A Bowie and then report to the organization’s instructional league on Sept. 12, according to Showalter. The Baysox are on the verge of clinching a spot in the Eastern League playoffs, and Bundy will be expected to pitch in their postseason.
“He’s at a level he’s been challenged with, just like he got challenged more in Frederick,” Showalter said. “He had some outings that weren’t [great]. I think the progression of his development’s been great. You couldn’t ask for a better progression.”
Starting for the Baysox on Tuesday night, the 19-year-old allowed two earned runs and four hits while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings against Erie. However, Showalter pointed out that Bundy walked four batters and has struggled more as he’s climbed the ladder from Delmarva to Frederick to Bowie this season.
Bundy has walked eight batters in 16 2/3 innings over his first three starts at Double A. He is 2-0 with a 3.24 earned run average with the Baysox.
Combining his numbers pitching at three different levels this season, the right-hander is 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts spanning 103 2/3 innings. He has 119 strikeouts and 28 walks and has allowed 67 hits and six home runs.
The club will send Bundy to the mid-September instructional league to improve a couple areas of his game. Showalter indicated it’s a great opportunity for players to work with the organization’s best instructors in the hopes of skipping a level in the minor leagues.
“I know times to the plate from the stretch, holding runners,” Showalter said. “That’s something that’s been a little bit of a challenge for him. Command, the higher he’s gone up, it’s been a little more of a challenge. Four walks in Bowie are more walks up here.”
Showalter has spoken in the past about young players sometimes benefiting from being called up to the major league club to experience a pennant race without necessarily contributing much on the field, but that does not appear to be an option for the 2011 first-round pick.
However, the manager indicated Bundy could find himself pitching in Baltimore next April if he makes the necessary adjustments between now and then.
“Frankly, what you’ve got to ask yourself is, ‘Does he have a chance to be on your club to start the season next year?'” Showalter said. “That kind of affects the way you look at it. Right now, I want him to pitch his butt off and help Bowie win an Eastern League championship. That’s where I want his mindset. When that’s over, look forward to working on some weaknesses down in instructional league with some very good staff members.”
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