Orioles top pitching prospects Hunter Harvey and Dylan Bundy, whose seasons have been derailed by injuries, are both scheduled to log innings in instructional league next month.
Harvey, who hasn't pitched in a game since extended spring training after being sidelined with elbow tightness, has been throwing bullpen sessions in Sarasota, Fla. The 20-year-old right-hander is scheduled to pitch another side session Thursday.
The club has him currently on pace to pitch in instructional league games beginning in mid-September. Provided he does well in instructional league, Harvey could pitch in the Arizona Fall League, which begins Oct. 13.
"Everything's going good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Harvey, the team's No. 2 prospect behind Bundy. "If he can get back to instructional league and go to the Fall League, he'd be in a good spot for next year."
Harvey, who was impressive during his first big league spring training this year, suffered a hairline fracture in his right fibula pitching in a minor league spring training game in March. While rehabilitating that injury in extended spring in May, Harvey was shut down with elbow tightness and hasn't pitched in a game since. Harvey's 2014 season was ended prematurely after he felt elbow tightness in August.
As for Bundy, he has an appointment to see orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Monday, a previously scheduled follow-up after being diagnosed with a rare calcium buildup in his right shoulder in June.
Provided Bundy is cleared, he is also expected to log innings in instructional league, but is not currently a candidate for the Fall League. Andrews has recommended that Bundy receive rest instead of pitching in Arizona, suggesting that a normal offseason could give the right-hander a better chance of being 100 percent for next spring training.
Bundy pitched in eight games at Double-A Bowie, going 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA this season before being shut down. He will be out of minor league options next year, so he must make the major league team out of camp or will have to be passed through waivers.
Bundy, the Orioles' 2011 first-round draft pick, ascended to the major leagues quickly, earning a September call-up in 2012 and tossing two scoreless appearances. But Tommy John surgery cost the 22-yea-old the entire 2013 season and he has pitched in just 17 minor league games since.
Right-hander Mike Wright, who is on the major league disabled list with a strained left calf, is scheduled to throw about 60 pitches in a four-inning rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday.
After that outing, Wright could be an option to rejoin the major league club as soon as early next week, Showalter said.
"His next outing could be wherever it's needed," Showalter said. "His next time would be at five [innings] and if you ever thought about it here, you'd be covering [him] with September call-ups. You normally wouldn't bring a guy who could just throw five innings, but we should have some extra pitchers."
There's not a spot for Wright in the Orioles rotation right now, but both Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez have struggled of late, which will make for an interesting decision for Showalter.
Wright is 2-3 with a 4.99 ERA in seven major league outings (six starts) this season. He didn't allow a run in 14 1/3 innings over his first two big league starts, but posted a 9.98 ERA over his next four starts.
Rookie right-hander Mychal Givens has quickly become an instrumental part of the Orioles bullpen, as he can give the club multiple innings in different scenarios while keeping hitters off balance with his quirky arm slot. But the Orioles will monitor his innings as the season progresses.
This is Givens' third season since converting from position player to pitcher after the Orioles drafted him as a shortstop in the second round in 2009. Givens entered Wednesday with 71 2/3 innings this season between the majors and Double-A Bowie.
That's more than Givens threw last season, when he logged 58 2/3 innings between High-A Frederick and Bowie, then threw an additional 11 2/3 innings in the AFL.
"[We] were looking at innings and stuff on Mychal Givens the last couple of days," Showalter said. "He's in a good spot, though. It's kind of unchartered territory for position players who become pitchers who don't have a lot of innings on their arm. We can't say that any of us are an expert on it. ... We're not near [a situation] where we're not pitching him or anything, but it's something we want to monitor as the season goes on."
Givens posted a 1.26 ERA in his first 10 big league relief appearances, allowing just six hits while striking out 18 and walking two in 14 1/3 innings.
Around the horn
Designated hitter Jimmy Paredes made his first start since Aug. 12 on Wednesday, batting seventh. Paredes' left-handed DH at-bats have been taken by Steve Clevenger, who is on the paternity list and won't return until Friday. … Right-handed reliever Chris Perez, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles on July 2, retired Saturday. Perez received a 50-game suspension in June for a second positive test for a drug of abuse and couldn't yet pitch for the Orioles. He was working out at the team's spring training complex in Sarasota. Perez was a two-time All-Star who had 30-save seasons with the Indians in 2011 and 2012, but his career was sidetracked after he was charged with marijuana possession in 2013. … Minor league catcher Jonah Heim, who has been out since late May with a left foot injury, will play his first rehab game in the Gulf Coast League on Friday. … Outfielder David Lough was 2-for-4 with two runs scored Wednesday in his second game at Norfolk. He is 3-for-10 in two games there.