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ORIOLES PROMOTE THEIR BEST PITCHING PROSPECT
Fri, 21 Sep 2012 02:30 AM EDT

The Orioles won an 18-inning marathon with the Mariner s on Tues., Sept. 18. The victory pushed Baltimore to within a half game of the 1st-place Yankees (as of Sept. 19) in the American League East. The win also used the Orioles bullpen.

No worries, Orioles fans, Dylan Bundy to the rescue.

The Orioles called up teen phenom Dylan Bundy from Double-A Bowie on Wednesday to provide depth to a beleaguered bullpen that accounted for 12 2/3 scoreless innings on Tues. night. Bundy is a 19-year-old right-hander and usually considered baseball’s best pitching prospect. Orioles selected Bundy with the 4th overall pick in the June 2011 amateur draft.

The Baltimore Orioles eased Bundy into pro baseball and limited the talented youngster to 3 innings per begin early in the season. Bundy blew through the Class-A South Atlantic League, allowing just 5 hits and no earned runs in 30 innings over 8 starts. The Orioles promoted Bundy to Single-A Frederick and continuously increased his workload. Bundy finished the season with Double-A Bowie where he went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 3 starts. Bundy finished the minor-league season 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts for 3 Orioles affiliates. He recorded 119 strikeouts and walked just 28 in 103 2/3 innings.

Calling up Bundy for the last 2 weeks of the season has little downside for the Orioles. Bundy was signed to a major-league deal after he was drafted — meaning he was immediately placed on the Orioles’ 40-man register. At worst, Bundy gives chief Buck Showalter another dynamic arm to put in the bullpen in the event the Orioles get into another marathon contest like Tuesday’s affair with Seattle. At best Bundy might provide a jolt of adrenaline similar to the one David Price gave the Rays in 2008, and Francisco Rodriguez gave the 2002 Angels.

Bundy might even be called on to start a game before the end of the season. After Wednesday’s series finale in Seattle, the Baltimore Orioles will voyage to Boston for a 3-game weekend series.

Baltimore will host the Toronto Blue Jays for a doubleheader next Monday. With the uncertain injury status of Jason Hammel, a cross-country flight, and 5 games in 4 days, the Baltimore Orioles need all the reinforcements they can get.

Bundy’s promotion is further evidence that the Orioles are going all in as they attempt to make the playoffs for the 1st time since 1997. It’s all-hands on deck in Baltimore as the competition for the American League East division crown and 2 two wild-card spots could come down to the last day of the season. Sports scores

The future is now for Dylan Bundy and the Orioles.


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