Note: Dylan Bundy is scheduled to make his first start for the Orioles in 2016. It hasn’t exactly been an easy ride to get there as you’ll see when you read on….

Imagine being a first round draft pick from Owasso, Oklahoma and the fourth player taken overall in the 2011 baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles, signing a $6+ million contract, then breezing your way through imageyour first stop in the minors in 2012 tossing 30 consecutive innings before you allow an earned run, then following that up at your next stop at Frederick winning eight of eleven decisions while averaging more than a strikeout per inning………and capping it all off with a call up to the Orioles that September.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? But this is the true story of Dylan Bundy. However, the only flaw in the story is that those 1.2 innings he tossed for the Orioles late in the season that year were his last and he has yet to appear in another major league game since then.

There have imagealways been highly touted first round draft picks who went bust. For good reason, they are not household names because they quickly disappeared from the baseball scene. Names like Kasey Kiker who never made it past Double A over six seasons, Daniel Moskos who labored in the Pirates organization for eight minor league seasons, and Greg Reynolds who was last seen pitching in Japan in 2014.

But Dylan Bundy’s story is not about failing on the mound……….it’s about something he has had no control of……..his body. His story however is not over and it’s possible that one of its last chapters will be written this season…….

Dylan Bundy would miss the entire 2013 season after receiving Tommy John surgery from Dr. Andrews. He wouldn’t return to action until the following June making nine minor league starts through the end of the season. He struggled with injuries again in 2015 and made just eight starts beforeMLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees getting shut down with a shoulder issue. The O’s assigned him to the Arizona Fall League to try and make up for lost time, but he was sent home after just two appearances with muscle strain in his forearm though it’s been characterized a minor issue. Suddenly, the clock reads 2016.

Beginning this season, the Orioles find themselves in dire need of starting pitching again. This, coupled with the fact that Bundy is out of options and must be kept on the 25 man roster, means Baltimore’s options are limited. They could trade him (Milwaukee has been very interested  – Brewcrewball) or they could release him subjecting him to the Rule Five Draft and move on.

Neither optionimage is very palpable though. Especially when you consider that Bundy is still rated as their Number One Prospect five years after he was drafted. For now, they’ve put together a plan that calls for him to throw 80 innings out of the bullpen. Following that (and assuming he stays healthy), he would move to the starting rotation around midpoint of the season.

For Bundy himself, all he wants is a chance to pitch in the Major Leagues and he doesn’t particularly care where. “I felt great for that one inning in the first start in the AFL,” Bundy said. “And then after the second outing I felt it, and I was just like, ‘Come on, give me a break.’ All I want to do is pitch, and you can’t really work on a whole lot of stuff unless you’re Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Oriolesout there pitching.”

But so far and to his credit, all the stutters and stops in his career have not worked their way into his head. “It [has been] three and a half, four years, but it really feels longer,” Bundy said. “But I can’t really help injuries. All you can do is stay confident and hopefully you’ll be fine in the long run.”

Dylan Bundy’s story is of the kind that captures ones attention because it is a human baseball story. What began imageas something quite magical suddenly made a right turn that hasn’t yet corrected itself……… But here we are five years later and the Spring of 2016 presents itself as a rebirth for the stalled career of a very talented and still young (only 23) right handed pitcher……..

It is a story all too common in a game where failure today presents itself as opportunity tomorrow. For Dylan Bundy, this is tomorrow………

4 responses to “ONE MAN’S BIG LEAGUE ODYESSY……

  1. The Orioles starting rotation is awfully thin this season (it’s been thin for years, but this season even more so). So, if Bundy can warm up his arm in the bullpen for a little while (where he should get good opportunities to pitch), and if everything stays healthy and strong, he may just be on the bump as a starter in not-too-long. The Orioles have held on to him through difficult times, they think a lot of him … I think they’re feeling that their patience will pay off.

    Liked by 1 person



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