Orioles continuing to target off days to give Bundy rest, looking at 180-inning threshold

With right-hander Dylan Bundy ready to make his second start of the second half this afternoon, Orioles manager Buck Showalter revealed part of the team’s schedule to give Bundy additional rest in the second half.

Showalter said that after starting today’s series finale against the Houston Astros, Bundy will get four days of additional rest and then won’t start again until Aug. 1 against the Kansas City Royals, taking advantage of Thursday’s off day to give Bundy four days of extra rest while keeping the rest of the rotation on turn.

“We’ve got him mapped out through the start of September,” Showalter said. “He’ll pitch today and probably the fifth day after the off day, so we will be easing the throttle a little bit, so we can push it again if we need it. I know right about where I think he’s going to end up if he stays on schedule.”

Showalter also plans to utilize the team’s off days next month – Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 – to give Bundy additional rest.

He’s said that the Orioles have an idea in mind of how many innings the club has projected for Bundy this season in his first year as a full-time big-league starter, but threw out the 180-inning mark for the first time on Sunday, adding that expanded rosters in September can add more wiggle room. Bundy entered Sunday’s start having already logged 114 innings in 19 starts after pitching 109 2/3 innings last year as a reliever and starter.

“Very happy with where he is right now physically and with the innings,” Showalter said. “He feels about as good as he’s felt in a long time for the whole year. so I hope we haven’t jinxed it. I think if you look at the fifth day after the off days, that’s pretty much what we’re looking at. We can take him around 180, somewhere in there, if everything goes well, and you can still make adjustments in September if you need to. You’re going to have more pitchers, more bodies.”

Showalter on treating the trade deadline:

Showalter often deals with the lingering trade deadline with ease, constantly emphasizing that he’s focused on the field as rumors bubble to the surface, but for the first time since the Orioles’ return to respectability, he could have to pull on of his core players into his office and tell them they’ve been dealt at the deadline.

“So many people seem to ask me about whether I’m worried what they’re thinking,” Showalter said. “That’s a very common question about the player, and I think it’s just one of those things because you all hear so much off the rumors and so many of the things I try not to get involved with. … It’s hard for me to imagine those guys are at home every night staying on top of it like you all have to stay on top of it. But as far as me telling somebody and being in a different mode, I think you’re always in a mode of what’s best for the team and the organization in the short term and the long term. … We’re trying to win tonight’s game. All that stuff, what’s today, the 23rd? … So what so we have, a week?”

Kim receives rare start

Showalter used Sunday’s series finale against the Astros to give outfielder Hyun Soo Kim a start at designated hitter, marking his first in nine games since the all-star break.

Kim has played in four games off the bench since the break, and he recorded a pinch-hit double in the Orioles’ ninth-inning rally on Friday night.

“I think Kimmy needs to get out there,” Showalter said.

Showalter also gave outfielder Seth Smith the afternoon off since he’s struggled against Astros starter Lance McCullers, going just 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts against him.

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