The Orioles haven't made it known whether top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will join the big league team once rosters expand on Saturday -- and the organization's moves with the 19-year-old right-hander this season have set the stage for a late-season call-up -- but manager Buck Showalter's words Wednesday indicated otherwise.
Before Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox, Showalter indicated that Bundy will remain with Double-A Bowie through their likely postseason run and then participate in the instructional league in Sarasota.
"Frankly what you have to ask yourself is whether he has the chance to be on your club at the start of the season next year and that answer kind of affects the way you look at it," Showalter said. "Right now, I want him to pitch his butt off and try to help Bowie win an Eastern League championship. That’s where I want his mind set. When that’s over, I look forward to [him] working on some weaknesses down in instructional league with some very good staff members. Instructional league is the best prospects you’ve got and the best instructors you’ve got."
The Baysox can clinch a postseason berth tonight with a win or a Richmond loss and the Eastern League playoffs open on Wednesday. Instructional League play begins on Sept. 12.
Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, began the season at low Class-A Delmarva, but moved his way up to Double-A as the organization steadily increased his workload. Earlier this month, the Orioles recalled top position prospect Manny Machado from Bowie to become the team's everyday third baseman, a move that has been met with great success.
Bundy is 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts with 119 strikeouts over 103 2/3 innings over three minor league levels this season. In his third start for Bowie on Tuesday, Bundy allowed two earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking four.
"Command, the higher he’s gone up the more it’s been a challenge for him," Showalter said. "Four walks at Bowie are more walks up here."
Showalter said going to intructional league would allow Bundy to work on -- among them command, working from the stretch, time to the plate and holding runners on.
"He’s at a level where he’s being challenged, just like he was challenged at Frederick," Showalter said of Bundy. "I think the progression of his development has been great. I couldn’t ask for a better progression. I think we’re about 2 ½ weeks before instructional league starting. We’ve got some plans for him, things he needs to work on there."