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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

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.