With the Orioles promoting top hitting prospect, 20-year-old infielder Manny Machado, to the majors Thursday, it creates an inevitable question:
Is 19-year-old pitching phenom Dylan Bundy next, perhaps in September?
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “Manny is here today on the merits of his development and the merit that he can help the ballclub.”
Duquette said he believes prospects should succeed at Double-A before they are considered for the majors. And Bundy, the club’s top pick last year, has yet to pitch above Single-A – so far anyway.
After going 6-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 11 starts at High-A Frederick and not allowing an earned run in 30 innings at Low-A Delmarva this year in his first pro season, Bundy was promoted to Bowie Wednesday night.
The Orioles have limited Bundy’s innings pitched this year – he’s thrown 84 1/3 innings so far and likely will be capped in the 125 to 130 range – and with roughly seven weeks left in the season, he still has time to make an impression with Bowie. And then see what happens.
“I think it is important for all the players to go to Double-A. That’s the proving ground,” Duquette said. “Dylan is going to get a chance to go to Double-A and continue his march to the big leagues. He did a good job at A ball and now he will get a chance to go to Double-A.”
He wouldn’t commit as to whether that march ends in Baltimore next month.
Around the horn
Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley has taken a leave of absence from the team after his father died Wednesday night. Presley is in his hometown of Pensacola, Fla., arranging a military funeral for his father. Special assistant Terry Crowley will assume Presley’s duties while he’s gone. …The Orioles transferred second baseman Brian Roberts to the 60-day disabled list to clear room for Machado on the team’s 40-man roster. … Tommy Hunter will start Sunday against the Royals in place of Zach Britton, who was optioned to Norfolk on Wednesday.