Bundy may remain in the rotation the rest of the season despite an undisclosed innings limit, MASN Sports reports. It seems as though the innings limit is well above the total Bundy can reach this season, so his performance will dictate whether he remains in the rotation or returns to the bullpen. Bundy was quite valuable in the bullpen, but three home runs allowed in his rotation debut last Sunday were his undoing. Bundy takes the hill Friday night against the Indians.
Bundy (2-2) allowed four runs on five hits (including three home runs) and three walks over 3.1 innings Sunday, striking out four, in a loss to the Rays. It wasn't the most auspicious start to Bundy's career as a major league starting pitcher. His control both within and outside the strike zone was shaky, but Bundy did generate 11 swinging strikes on 70 pitches so there were some encouraging signs. The Orioles haven't announced whether he'll head back to the bullpen after this, but if he does get another start it would come at home Friday against the Indians.
The Orioles announced Friday that Bundy will start Sunday's game against the Rays, Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports. Bundy worked exclusively as a reliever in the first half, but it appears the Orioles -- desperate to solidify a couple spots in their rotation -- will give him at least one chance to start for the big league club. Bundy's 1.53 first-half WHIP raises an eyebrow, but he showed improvement after the calendar turned to June, posting a 1.18 WHIP while also striking out 22 batters in 17 innings over seven appearances.
Bundy threw 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Bundy has now gone 14.1 consecutive scoreless innings in six appearances since June 4. He seemed to struggle with frequent use in short stints in April and May, so the Orioles may be trying to give Bundy three or four days off at a time. It had been six days since Bundy last pitched when he took the mound Wednesday. The seven strikeouts are a career high -- by three -- as Bundy struck out all seven of his outs. Unfortunately, the three balls in play all went for hits as he has struggled with a .371 BABIP. More importantly, Bundy has been healthy all season and the Orioles still seem to see him as a starter in the long term. Bundy has responded successfully to these long relief outings that seem to give him a schedule similar to that of a starter. It is unlikely the Orioles move Bundy to the rotation this year, but it seems very much in the cards for 2017.
Bundy gave up two hits over three scoreless innings Sunday, striking out four, in a win over the Rays. He threw 57 pitches in his longest outing so far this season, and with a number of weak spots in their rotation the Orioles may be gradually stretching Bundy out with an eye towards moving him into a starting spot. His 1.50 ERA and 13:1 K:BB in 12 innings over five June appearances also gives Baltimore a strong incentive to put him in a more prominent role.