The Orioles already weren’t expecting Dylan Bundy to contribute at the major league level this season, but now the focus may officially shift to 2015.
According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Bundy was placed on the 7-day minor league disabled list today with a right lat strain. He suffered the injury while running in the outfield after his most recent rehab start with High-A Frederick. The minor league season comes to a close on September 1, so there’s a legitimate chance that the Orioles will just shut him down.
“I think before we get to that point, I think we need to resolve this and make sure he heals before he does any more activity,” Duquette said. “It will probably take a couple of weeks [to heal].”
Bundy, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, returned to game action two months ago and posted a 0.60 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings over three starts with Low-A Aberdeen before moving up to Frederick. The 21-year-old has had some struggles during his time there, putting up a 4.78 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 13 walks over 26 1/3 innings, but he struck out seven over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his final start before the lat injury.
Bundy was the No. 4 overall pick and made it the majors in his first pro season as a 19-year-old in 2012. The past two years haven’t gone according to plan, but the hope is that he’ll be a factor in the Orioles’ rotation in 2015.
On Sunday, we heard from former Ray and current Giants third baseman Evan Longoria. The Rays recently traded pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a prospect and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense outside of a cost-cutting perspective. Longoria said, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”
Today, we’re hearing from a current Ray: center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is set to enter his fifth full season with the club. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kiermaier said, “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It’s one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don’t know the reasoning why. And then you see the team’s explanation and still it’s just like, okay, well, so be it.”
Longoria — formerly the face of the franchise — was traded to the Giants in December and the Rays continued to subtract with their recent moves involving Odorizzi and Dickerson. Odorizzi has a career 3.83 ERA in what has been a solid, if unspectacular, career. Dickerson put up an All-Star season, posting an .815 OPS with 27 home runs in 150 games. Moving either player was not done to fix a positional log jam. In fact, with Odorizzi out of the picture, the Rays are planning to use a four-man starting rotation for the first six-plus weeks of the season, Topkin reported on Sunday. Dickerson’s ouster simply opens the door for Mallex Smith, who posted a .684 OPS last year, to start every day in the outfield.
The Rays got markedly worse after going 80-82 last season. They saved a few million bucks jettisoning Odorizzi and Dickerson. And Rays ownership still wants the public to foot most of the bill for their new stadium.
When it was just one small market team pinching pennies, it was fine. But now that more than half of the league has adopted penny-pinching principles popularized by Moneyball and Sabermetrics (with the Rays among the chief offenders), the game of baseball has become markedly less fan- and player-friendly. This offseason has been less about players signing contracts and changing teams in trades — which helps build excitement and intrigue for the coming year — and more about front offices doing math problems concerning the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold and other self-imposed monetary restraints. Fun. Kiermaier is right to be upset and he’s very likely not alone in feeling that way.