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.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.