The major league call-up of Orioles 19-year-old phenom Dylan Bundy to help replenish the club’s bullpen after an 18-inning game Tuesday night is a surprise.
But it’s being made for the right reasons, according to franchise’s most heralded and successful pitcher.
“It’s a prudent move, it’s not a knee jerk reaction,” says Jim Palmer, MASN color analyst and the Orioles’ Hall of Fame pitcher. “Because of the condition of the bullpen there is a need. It makes sense to me.”
Bundy, the club’s fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, was in the organization’s instructional league in Sarasota, Fla., after a season in which he was 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts at three levels. He ended the regular season at Double-A Bowie, where he was 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three games. He is expected to win the organization’s 2012 Jim Palmer Prize for best minor league pitcher.
And the award’s namesake many know better than anyone what it’s like to debut in the majors at the age of 19.
“I can’t read his mind, but from what I’ve seen reading and watching his mechanics [in spring training], I would be very surprised if he is not ready for this challenge,” Palmer said. “And remember he may not pitch very much.”
The Orioles used seven relievers for12 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 4-2 win at Safeco Field. They need help and Bundy is on the 40-man roster. So he’s been summoned to Seattle.
“He’s going to get a lot of support from the guys in the bullpen, just like I did when I came up,” said Palmer, who at 19 roomed with Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. “It’s a veteran bullpen that’s been down the road and will be able to help him for the next couple weeks. I’m sure he’ll be a little bit nervous, but I’ve got to think he is pretty confident in his abilities as long as he continues to do what he does and stays within himself, he’ll have success.”
Palmer said the promotion of Bundy just continues an excitement around these Orioles – and further the notion that they are on the right path after years of losing and futile drafts.
“I think it is great for him and great for the organization,” Palmer said. “For so many years this has been an organization that didn’t draft well. Now you have [No. 1] picks like Bundy and Matt Wieters, who is arguably the best catcher in baseball, and you have [Manny] Machado in the big leagues at age 20 and … at the end of the day he looks like a very special player. .. I think it is great.”