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What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday action

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Dylan Bundy will start for the Orioles on Wednesday night, opposing David Price in a 7:05 PM EDT start at Camden Yards. Bundy is on a roll, putting up a 2.76 ERA with a 36/8 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings over six starts since moving from the bullpen into the starting rotation.

Bundy was the Orioles’ first-round — fourth overall — selection in the 2011 draft. He made his major league debut in 2012, but he didn’t have staying power as he suffered from elbow and shoulder troubles. The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in late June of 2013 and wouldn’t return until June 2014. In late July 2015, the Orioles shut Bundy down due to calcification in the back area of his shoulder.

Those injuries gave people pause when projecting him as a future ace, but so too did the Orioles’ history of developing pitchers. In April, O’s closer Zach Britton explained why top pitching prospects such as himself, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz failed to develop into aces in Baltimore’s system. The lefty said, “[The Orioles’ took away the individual approach to everything.” A lot of the blame seemed to lie with former pitching coach Rick Adair, who took a personal leave of absence in August 2013. The O’s shortly thereafter hired Dave Wallace and he’s been the pitching coach ever since, seemingly with much better results.

If he continues to pitch the way he has been, Bundy could become the ace the Orioles have been hoping to develop over the last decade.

The rest of Wednesday’s action…

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo) @ Cleveland Indians (Carlos Carrasco), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Andrew Cashner) @ Cincinnati Reds (Homer Bailey), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson) @ Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Jonathon Niese) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Godley), 9:40 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Cody Martin) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 10:05 PM EDT

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.