Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles

Dylan Bundy’s throwing session from 150 feet “went real well”

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Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery in June last year. It sounds like he is starting to make some real progress on the long road back to the Oriole rotation. MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that Bundy threw from 150 feet earlier today. Manager Buck Showalter was enthused:

“That went real well,” Showalter said. “It’s going as well as you could hope for.”

If Bundy continues making progress, he could push his timetable forward slightly. As of right now, the 21-year-old is on track to begin rehabbing in May and could rejoin the Orioles some time in June. The Orioles aren’t waiting around, as they have indicated interest in free agent starter Ervin Santana.

Bundy, the Orioles’ first-round pick in the 2011 draft (fourth overall), didn’t play at all in 2013. In the year prior, he impressed in his first taste of pro ball, posting a 2.08 ERA in 103 2/3 innings between Single-A Delmarva and Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Bundy had a brief taste of the big leagues at the end of September, allowing just a walk and a hit in 1 2/3 innings.

Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston

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David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.

Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.

In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.

Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”

MIAMI - MARCH 14:  Venezuela fans cheer with a country flag while taking on the Netherlands during round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at Dolphin Stadium on March 14, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.

The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:

“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”

As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.

It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.