The Orioles surprised the baseball world earlier this month by calling up top prospect Manny Machado. Could they do the same thing with 19-year-old Dylan Bundy? Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com seems to think so.
As each day passes, it seems more obvious that Bundy will be called up and make his major league debut before the season ends. At age 19. After beginning the year at low Single-A Delmarva.
Bundy figured to get an inning here and there out of the bullpen, but not according to the latest rumor, which has the Orioles recalling him on Aug. 31 and giving him a start on Sept. 6 against the Yankees at Camden Yards.
Keep in mind that what I’m passing along hasn’t been confirmed to me by anyone in the front office. And on the surface, it seems pretty strange that the Orioles would hand the ball to Bundy in the heat of a pennant race against the first-place team in the American League East – assuming that the Orioles haven’t overtaken them. But nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the 2012 Orioles and their improbable run toward the playoffs.
Well, that would be something. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was actually asked last night if there were going to be any surprises in the starting rotation once rosters expand on September 1, but he smiled and played coy while saying, “I know what you’re getting at.”
Bundy, the fourth overall pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, has quickly emerged as one of the top prospects in all of baseball by posting a 2.01 ERA and 113/24 K/BB ratio over his first 22 professional starts. He has allowed five runs (four earned) over 11 innings in his first two starts since a recent promotion to Double-A Bowie. The teenage right-hander recently got the stamp of approval from future Hall of Famer Jim Thome.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.