Bundy, Harvey keeping eyes on Majors in '16

O's prospects have been hampered by injuries in their young careers

February 19th, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' top two pitching prospects, are hoping to put injuries behind them in 2016.

Bundy and Harvey, who were both shut down at different points of their Minor League seasons, were given a clean bill of health in camp and are aiming for successful Grapefruit League campaigns. Bundy, who played some catch during informal workouts on Thursday, pitched a few times in the Arizona Fall League and, prior to that, hadn't appeared in a Minor League game since May.

"I'm getting up there now [in intensity]," Bundy said of his throwing program. "I'll be close. I'll be close when the games start. I'll be pretty much full go."

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Bundy, 23, has had an unfortunate string of injuries over the past few years, starting with Tommy John surgery in 2013, and he's out of Minor League options this spring. That means, if Bundy is not on the Opening Day roster and he's healthy, the Orioles would risk exposing him to waivers. The logical spot for Bundy on the O's roster is in the bullpen, and the right-hander said that would be OK by him.

"Any spot in the Major Leagues is a good spot," Bundy said.

Harvey, who still has options remaining, is aiming to open the season starting for one of the Orioles' full-season affiliates. The club's top pick in the '13 Draft, the 21-year-old Harvey has been hampered by a right flexor mass strain. He has started 25 games for the organization over two Minor League seasons since being drafted, reaching Class A Delmarva in '14.

Harvey was shut down in July 2014 with a flexor mass strain and returned to pitch the following spring, only to fracture his fibula on a comebacker in a Minor League exhibition contest. Harvey was shut down again with the flexor mass issues after rehabbing his fibula. He did not pitch at all during the 2015 regular season.

"I think I might have come back just a little fast," Harvey said on Friday. "I took it too easy when I was coming back, then tried to come back on the mound and full-blast it. Just got to be a little bit smarter on that when I'm coming back."

Harvey said last year was "long" and it was the first time he's really missed significant time due to an injury. But he's been throwing pain-free since December and is optimistic he'll have a successful 2016.

"I hope so," Harvey said of potentially starting the season with Class A Advanced Frederick. "I'm just trying to get out of Spring Training this year. Wherever they put me, it will work."