Bundy could be starting option for O's in 2017

May 13th, 2016

BALTIMORE -- Dylan Bundy is pitching out of the Orioles' bullpen this season as a matter of necessity, but that doesn't mean the organization's No. 2 prospect is there for the long haul.

"He's presenting himself as a starting option for us next year, so far," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Friday night's game against the Tigers at Camden Yards. "We'll see where it takes us."

Showalter added that Bundy might even get a start later this season, "in a perfect world," but that such an outing might be limited to three innings or so.

Bundy, the fourth overall pick of the 2011 Draft, debuted in the Majors the following year, but injuries limited him to a total of 17 Minor League games from 2013-15. The 23-year-old is out of Minor League options, which forces Baltimore to keep him on the big league roster rather than send him to Triple-A to work as a starter.

Through Thursday, Bundy had allowed three earned runs in 12 innings over nine appearances, despite a 5-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Showalter has been pleased not only with Bundy's health, but also with the development of his changeup, which gives him a weapon against left-handed batters.

Thus far, Bundy has thrown as many as 2 1/3 innings in a game, and Showalter is thinking about how his workload could set him up for 2017.

"I was talking to [head trainer Richie Bancells] about it on the bench last night -- if we pitch [Bundy] 'X' amount of innings, would he be comfortable with him throwing 'X' amount of innings next year?" Showalter said. "He might be in the bullpen next year. We do know he's out of options. But you don't mind it as much if they're being as effective as Dylan has been. It's been a good experience for him."

Worth noting

• Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace will be away from the team for four games, beginning on Saturday, to deal with a family matter. Scott McGregor, the organization's pitching rehab coordinator, will fill his spot. McGregor, who pitched for the Orioles from 1976-88, usually works out of the team's Sarasota, Fla., complex.

• Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, will play catch on Saturday, making 25 throws off flat ground from a distance of 60 feet.