(Updated: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.)
BALTIMORE — The latest development on top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was a concerning one for the Orioles as manager Buck Showalter announced the 20-year-old will go for a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on his forearm and elbow.
After throwing from 90 feet in Sarasota on Monday, Bundy still felt discomfort in his right forearm and asked to seek a second opinion, an idea the Orioles endorsed. An MRI showed there to be no damage to his right elbow, but Showalter said Andrews could request another one.
“[Bundy’s elbow] still doesn’t feel just right, so he went to see Dr. Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla., just to get a second opinion on what we think we’re dealing with,” Showalter said. “We’ll get something back and we hope to find out that [he] feels the same way that our people do who have looked at it.”
Showalter revealed on Wednesday that Bundy will not see Dr. Andrews until Monday. He will be examined by team orthopedic Dr. John Wilckens in Baltimore on Thursday.
It remains unclear if there was a particular pitch or moment that caused the discomfort as Bundy was shut down at the end of spring training with what the Orioles are still describing as flexor mass tightness. The 2011 first-round pick is frustrated that he’s made such little progress after resting his arm for a couple weeks and finally being given the green light to begin a throwing program.
In time split at three different levels in his first professional season in 2012, Bundy pitched to a 2.04 earned run average and a 0.92 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and struck out 119 batters in 103 2/3 innings pitched. He made his major league debut in September, making two relief appearances.
Bundy is regarded by most as the best pitching prospect in baseball. He was originally examined on April 2 by Dr. Wilckens, who found no structural concerns with the elbow.
“They took an MRI and the elbow looked good,” Showalter said. “That was why maybe I don’t — at this point — feel anything differently yet. I haven’t had anything told to me that anything’s different.”
The good news for the Orioles is there are no indications that Bundy is dealing with an injury that will lead to Tommy John surgery since the elbow appears sound by all accounts, but concern will exist until the club receives further feedback from Dr. Andrews. And that name is often — but not always — synonymous with bad news when it comes to the prognosis of a pitcher.
NOTES: Right-hander Josh Stinson will make the start in the series finale against Toronto on Wednesday afternoon. He was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on April 4, which was the third time he was placed on waivers in a year’s time. … Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw four innings and struck out six in an extended spring outing in Sarasota. He threw 69 pitches and hasn’t experienced any setbacks, according to Showalter. The Japanese pitcher is on track to return at the end of May or the beginning of June after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. … Second baseman Brian Roberts continues to make improvement, but the 35-year-old has yet to resume baseball-related activities. The original hope was that Roberts would be able to return in three or four weeks from the time of the injury on April 4, but it’s becoming abundantly clear that timetable was too optimistic. … All signs point to right-handed relief pitcher Alex Burnett being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Stinson on the 25-man roster before Wednesday’s game. He was recalled to take Jake Arrieta’s roster spot on Monday.