Anyone who has been around
Some of it is Showalter's deadpan shtick, but you could defeinitely tell that the Orioles skipper was itching to kick the tires on the organization's top pitching prospect this season.
The Orioles' sudden summoning of Bundy today to add bullpen depth shouldn't be too surprising. A few weeks back, Showalter announced that the 19-year-old phenom would not be a late-season call up, but instead participate in the organization's instructional league in Sarasota, Fla.
But until then, all signs pointed to Bundy joining the big club in September. The way the organization built up Bundy's innings while holding him to a predetermined limit of 130 hinted that he could join the Orioles for the stretch run. And the idea of having Bundy's power arm in the pen for the pennant push is undoubtedly tempting.
Bundy, who was 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA with 119 strikeouts and 67 hits in 103 2/3 innings across three minor league levels, finished his season going 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts at Double-A Bowie.
There's no arguing that there are things Bundy could work on in the instructional league, primarily keeping his pitches down in the zone. He could also hone his breaking ball and off-speed pitches and improve with holding runners and his time to the plate. He's not a complete majors-ready product yet.
But that doesn't mean he can't have success at the major league level now.
The Orioles obviously need bullpen help now, after their 18-inning win in Seattle on Tuesday. And Bundy is just one of two pitchers on the 40-man rosters who haven’t yet joined the big league roster. The other, right-hander
Also, Showalter often talks about the benefits young players receive from being a part of postseason pushes. He often points to how a 21-year-old
They will definitely use Bundy in relief for now. And he will be the available long-relief arm behind starter
One thing the Orioles have done well this year is knowing their players. Bundy, a relentless worker, will see this opportunity as his chance to show he belongs in the big leagues. The Orioles realize Bundy's makeup -- like Machado before him -- will allow him to be successful at the big league level provided he's given the placed in situations to excel.