2017 Orioles preview: Dylan Bundy

March 28, 2017 | Luke Jones

With Opening Day less than a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.

Manny Machado
Kevin Gausman
Adam Jones
Darren O’Day
Seth Smith
Mike Wright
Caleb Joseph
Donnie Hart
Jonathan Schoop
Mychal Givens
Ryan Flaherty
Brad Brach
J.J. Hardy
Ubaldo Jimenez
Mark Trumbo
Wade Miley
Welington Castillo
Zach Britton
Chris Davis

SP Dylan Bundy

Opening Day age: 24

Contract status: Under contract through the 2021 season

2016 stats: 10-6, 4.02 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 18 HR, 109 2/3 innings

Why to be impressed: It was remarkable to see Bundy hold up as well as he did physically in 2016 after having pitched a total of 65 1/3 professional innings the previous two seasons combined. The right-hander’s strikeout rate was also better as a starter than it was as a reliever with one per inning in the second half of the season, an encouraging sign for his ability to succeed as a major league starter.

Why to be concerned: Bundy struggled going through the order a third time as opponents hit six home runs and posted a .960 OPS in 55 plate appearances, which could have been a result of fatigue or hitters figuring out his repertoire. His average fastball velocity dropped nearly two whole miles per hour from his first start in mid-July to his final start, another sign of his workload needing to be monitored.

2017 outlook: The 2011 first-round pick brings much-needed upside to a below-average starting rotation, but you wonder if the Orioles are asking for too much in what will be his first full season as a starter. The reintroduction of the cutter will hopefully offset some of his problems going through the batting order a third time, but it was clear in 2016 that he has the talent to succeed if he can stay healthy.

2017 not-so-scientific projections: 12-9, 3.89 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 23 HR, 151 innings