One of the most talked about names for the Baltimore Orioles over the past few years has been 2011 first round pick Dylan Bundy as he remains one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, but is working his way back into form from Tommy John Surgery early last season. Bundy has been working in the minor league's this summer making rehab starts and has some experience some ups and downs as he works his way back.
Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery early in 2013 after getting a cup of coffee in the big leagues with the Orioles late in 2012, just his second professional season.
Thus far in 2014, he has made seven starts with Orioles affiliates and has shown signs of returning to form, but there have been some hiccups along the way.
Overall, Bundy has posted a 3.58 ERA in his seven minor league starts and has accrued 32 2/5 innings in those starts as he has also been on a strict pitch limit for each outing. He made three starts for the short-season A Aberdeen Ironbirds and four starts for the High-A Frederick Keys.
In his three starts for the Ironbirds, it was easily apparent that his stuff was just too good for the New York-Penn League as he compiled a 0.60 ERA over 15 innings pitched allowing just one run, ten hits, three walks and he struck out 22 batters. Baltimore felt comfortable enough after three starts to move him up to a higher affiliate and that's where the hiccups began.
In his first three starts with the Keys, he allowed at least three runs in each of them and couldn't get past the fourth inning on his pitch limit. Over those first three starts, he allowed 12 runs on 15 hits, six walks and struck out six in 11 2/3 innings. Fans began to get a bit worried and began wondering if the prized prospect would become another victim of Tommy John surgery.
Enter his most recent start on July 22.
Bundy eased the worries a bit as he was phenomenal and picked up his first win on a professional mound since 2012. He tossed six shutout innings, while allowing just three hits, two walks and struck out one. The best news coming out of it was that he was efficient with his pitches, and was locating his pitches much better.
Some experts out there believe that Bundy could be part of the equation for the Orioles in their bullpen in September, but we here at Orioles101 hope that the only way that is the case is if he is pitching fairly dominantly at the AA or AAA level and is 100% healthy. He is still just 21 years old and there is no reason to rush him to the big leagues when you are banking on him being a top of the rotation guy for years to come in the future.
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