Despite top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy being scheduled for just one inning Tuesday in extended spring training, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he'd "be surprised if you don't see another level gone to by him in that game. Just because the juices are flowing and somebody is trying to beat you."
Bundy, 21, has not pitched against an opposing hitter since March 2013; he had elbow surgery in June and has been gradually rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla., for most of the past year. The right-hander has thrown against hitters from the Orioles organization in live batting practice, but Tuesday is his first game situation against another team.
Showalter said veteran left-hander Johan Santana, who is rehabbing in Sarasota from shoulder surgery, recently said how exhilarating an extended spring training outing can be.
"Johan was talking about it," Showalter said. "The first time you get in there, there's an umpire, there's somebody wearing a different uniform and you are keeping score, it's a different gig."
There's no set timetable for Bundy's return to a minor league affiliate, but the Orioles have hoped it could happen sometime in June.
"It's another step in the process. Dylan thinks we have taken way too long. He would have liked to have started the season here, Opening Day," Showalter said. "But I think he is a lot more mature about it.
"He understands now that more is not always better, and I think a lot of people in his life understand that, too."
Throwbacks to honor Negro leagues
The Orioles and the Royals participated in Kansas City's annual "Salute to the Negro Leagues" tribute by wearing throwback hats and uniforms Sunday.
The Orioles wore gray jerseys and black hats — with a Black 'B outlined by an orange circle — to replicate the late-1920s Baltimore Black Sox. The Royals were in the cream-colored uniforms of the mid-1920s Kansas City Monarchs.
"I think it is an honor to be asked to do it. I think it is cool," said Showalter, who wore a full uniform instead of his typical Orioles dugout jacket. "If I had thought about it, I would have worn a tie in here, a little bolo tie. I thought about it a little, but not too long."
The uniforms will be auctioned off to benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Details are available at Royals.com/nlbm or MLB.com/auction.
In conjunction with the Negro leagues salute, the Royals also held a "Dress to the Nines" promotion in which the first 10,000 fans received a white fedora. On Sunday afternoons, Negro league baseball fans would often come straight to the ballpark from church services dressed in their Sunday best.
Around the horn
Sunday was Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson's 77th birthday. … Right-hander Edgmer Escalona (right shoulder) will throw his first extended spring training inning Tuesday in the same game as Bundy. … The Orioles will wear replica uniforms of Baltimore's other well-known Negro leagues squad, the Elite Giants, as part of the Civil Rights Game on May 30 in Houston. … Umpires overturned two calls in the game after going to instant replay. In the fourth inning, Kansas City's Alex Gordon was initially called out at second base on a force play and, after a 1-minute, 29-second delay, was ruled safe. In the seventh, Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain was initially called safe at first base. After a 1-minute, 32-second delay, he was ruled out. … Right-hander Heath Bell, signed to a minor league deal Friday night, pitched a scoreless inning Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk in the Tides' 4-3 win over Charlotte.
twitter.com/danconnollysunCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun