BRADENTON, Fla. – Buck Showalter raised the unthinkable before Wednesday’s game with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After watching Dylan Bundy pitch well four straight times in relief, Showalter said that if things go well with him early in the season, the Orioles might consider using him as a starter late in 2016.
Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, and hasn’t pitched enough innings since his return to be considered as a starter this year, but fans have keep asking if it’s a possibility, and for the first time, Showalter went along with it.
“It’s one of those things that if you told me where we’d be where are with him right now, not that I’d be surprised, I’d be real happy with it. You can tell everything with him. I was kidding with him today down in the bullpen. I said: ‘You’re in a perfect ambush situation now,’ Showalter said. “’You’re back in the they don’t know who you are [mode].’
Bundy is out of options and will have to start the season in the major leagues, and Showalter thinks that he’ll do well in the bullpen. The Orioles could even pitch him in consecutive games in the final days of spring training.
“I try and slow down my enthusiasm. He’s been through so much. As much as we want him to be what we think he’s capable of, imagine what it’s been like for him. Who knows, maybe at some point during the season, if he gets to that 30, 40 inning mark, we could start doing some things as a starter?”
Showalter insists that this year may be farfetched, but he doesn’t want to eliminate anything.
“You never know. I’m just throwing every possibility out there. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and forget where you come from. Sometime you need to be happy where you are and what you’ve got instead of trying to keep pushing it. I’m saying it’s probably not going to happen, but I’m not going to say for sure,” Showalter said.
If Bundy was able to throw a complete season, what would the Orioles do?
“What do you do? Send him to winter ball? Probably not. I wouldn’t say that would be a good idea for guys coming off that, then pitch seven months and now you’ve got him to push the envelope some more?”
Showalter saw Bundy pitch in relief for the Orioles twice in Sept. 2012, and wants to see more—much more.
Maybe Bundy in the rotation in 2017?
‘Or September. Or August. Or July. We’re trying to win here, right? Let’s go one step at a time with him,” Showalter said.
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