It’s official: Dylan Bundy will open the 2013 season in the minors.
The Orioles announced this morning that Bundy was optioned to Double-A Bowie. Widely regarded as the best pitching prospect in the game, the 20-year-old right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) in eight innings this spring to go along with five strikeouts and six walks.
Bundy made two appearances with the Orioles last September, but today’s cut doesn’t come as a big surprise. However, if all goes well, he could be up to the majors for good later this year.
Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, breezed through his first year of pro ball last year by posting a 2.08 ERA and 119/28 K/BB ratio over 103 2/3 innings between Class A Delmarva, High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Baseball America ranked him as the No. 2 prospect on their Top 100 list last month behind the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.