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Why O's could be forced to keep Bundy in big leagues

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Why O's could be forced to keep Bundy in big leagues

The Orioles are facing an important decision on Dylan Bundy. Actually, it’s not much of a decision. They probably don't have a choice. 

When Bundy signed a contract in 2011, it was a major league deal. At the time it was common for top draft choices to sign those. Since then, they’ve been bargained out of existence, and first round picks sign minor league contracts, sometimes with invitations to major league spring training. That's what 2013 pick Hunter Harvey did.

It didn’t seem like a big deal in 2011, and barely a year later when Bundy briefly made it to the big leagues, it seemed irrelevant.

Now, it’s not only relevant, but it could cost both Bundy and the Orioles, and there’s really no way around it.

Bundy, who has pitched 168 2/3 innings since 2012, is now far behind where the Orioles hoped he’d be.

Next year, he’ll have no options left, and if the Orioles want to keep him, as they most certainly do, since they’ve invested money and time on him, Bundy will have to be on the major league roster.

After his terrific 2012 season where he advanced from Delmarva to Frederick to Bowie, and finally to Baltimore, the Orioles would probably have started him back at Double-A in 2013.

MORE ORIOLES: FORMER ORIOLE NAMED ALL-STAR STARTER IN AL

But, Bundy wasn’t healthy and didn’t pitch at all two years ago. He had Tommy John surgery in June, and a year later was back pitching.

Last year, Bundy pitched just 41 1/3 innings for Aberdeen and Frederick, and after a healthy winter, the Orioles were hoping for big things from him.

After 22 innings with the Baysox, Bundy was shut down. Tendinitis in his right shoulder has prevented him from pitching, and it’s likely we won’t see him until January minicamp.
Bundy will have to be on next year’s big league roster, and that’s a shame because he almost certainly won’t be ready to pitch in the majors next April.

But, because Bundy negotiated a major league contract, he now can’t be sent to the minors without passing through waivers, and he’d be eagerly snapped up.

Had Bundy remained healthy in 2013, he probably would have been in the big leagues before midseason and lived happily ever after.

Now, he may get to the big leagues without ever having pitched at Triple-A.

Of course, the Orioles may start him on the disabled list next season, and he could pitch for 30 days in the minors on a rehab assignment, but they don’t have the latitude to keep him there.

The Orioles will in effect have a Rule 5 pick, and they won’t have the innings available in the minors to build him up as a starter.

Bundy will have to go to the bullpen, and he may be effective, but forcing him to stay in the majors may not be in his best interest—or the Orioles.

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

The Orioles lost a nailbiter before falling to the Yankees 6-5 Thursday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Dylan Bundy surrendered three runs in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision against the Yankees. The bullpen was unable to manage after Bundy pitched a fair performance.

Renato Nunez went 2-for-3 and hit a three-run homer against the Yankees on Thursday. Nunez has improved mighily in year number two with the O's.

YANKEES:

Masahiro Tanaka held the Orioles to one run through six innings in his start Thursday.

Luke Voit homered and doubled Thursday as the Yankees slipped by the Orioles 6-5.

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

The Orioles made a flurry of moves before falling to the Yankees 7-5 Wednesday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Baltimore acquired OF Keon Broxton from the Mets for international signing bonus slots. Broxton hit .143 in 34 games with New York this season before he was designated for assignment last week. The Orioles designated RHP Yefry Rodriguez for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Broxton. 

The Orioles transferred RHP Alex Cobb from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, meaning he won't be back until late June at the earliest. Cobb has been out since April 27 with a lumbar strain. Baltimore also claimed RHP Chandler Shepherd off waivers for the Cubs and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. 

YANKEES:

Giancarlo Stanton has been pulled away from his rehab assignment with High-A Tampa and placed back on the 10-day injured list with left calf tightness. Per manager Aaron Boone, Stanton will be shut down for the next 7-10 days. 

Boone also told reporters Zach Britton was unavailable for Wednesday's game against his former team, and CC Sabathia could miss his next start due to knee trouble. 

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Thursday 5/23: Orioles vs. Yankees, 12:35 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field