Dan Duquette said the decision to bring up 19-year-old pitching phenom Dylan Bundy to help a bullpen depleted by an 18-inning marathon in Seattle on Tuesday was pretty simple.
“We needed a pitcher for tonight, he worked all his life to be a big leaguer, he is on our [40-man] roster,” Duquette, the club’s executive vice president, said. “So we thought this was a good opportunity.”
Bundy, the fourth overall pick in last year’s amateur draft, will be placed in the bullpen for now – an old school move that managers like Hall of Famer Earl Weaver adhered to when dealing with young up-and-coming pitchers like Jim Palmer and Mike Boddicker.
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“Weaver used to break in all of his pitchers in the big leagues through the bullpen, right?” Duquette said. “That’s how it should go, have him participate in the bullpen, get his feet on the ground and when the opportunity arises, we’ll see. We are just taking it one day at a time. Obviously, he’s got some very special skills and qualities, which we identified when we drafted him fourth in the country and again now when we are bringing him to the big leagues.”
Bundy is eligible to be placed on the Orioles’ postseason roster, but that decision is still two weeks away. He will stay with the Orioles for the rest of the season, however.
“I would think so. Where else is he going to go? Is there another league?” Duquette joked.
Given Bundy’s advanced skills – he throws three pitches for strikes including an upper 90s fastball – and professional demeanor, Duquette said he is not worried that the experience will hinder Bundy’s development.
“All he has to do is his job, right? Come in and throw strikes,” Duquette said. “He is joining a group of very talented players, so we are not asking him to do anything else other than his job, and it’s a job he’s wanted to do all his life, be a major league pitcher.”