Over the first seven games of the season, Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy has received plenty of work, although most of that work has been warming up in the bullpen and not pitching in games.
Since pitching one scoreless inning April 7, Bundy warmed up eight times in the Orioles bullpen before he made his next appearance in Tuesday's 9-5 win at Fenway Park, where he had a career-long 2 1/3-inning relief outing and was credited with a hold. Before Bundy made his first appearance of the season last week, he got up three times over the first three games of the season before getting the call.
That's unlike Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who doesn't often get his pitchers up unless he really thinks they're going to get in the game. And he rarely gets a reliever up more than once in one game.
But to Bundy — who entered this season limited to 17 minor league games over the past three seasons because of injuries, including Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2013 — it has allowed him to get some valuable work as he continues to adjust to regular relief work for the first time in his pro career.
"They've had me up a little bit, but that's fine," Bundy said. "I like to throw a lot anyway to warm up for a game. I'm getting a lot of bullpen work in.
"I've never done this at this level, so I've never gotten up two or three times before going in a game, so it's a little different. But I look at it as bullpen work, so after I'm hot the first time, I'm more trying to locate my pitches the second and third times. The first time, you don't care where the ball is. You're just loosening your arm up. And then maybe after eight pitches out there, you start working on hitting your spots. So if I'm up two or three times in a game, I start working on my location and I count that as my bullpen work for the day if I don't get into the game."
On Tuesday, Bundy entered the game in the sixth and retired six of the first seven batters he faced before allowing one run in his third inning on back-to-back hits in the eighth.
"I'm not used to throwing that many innings," Bundy said. "I was trying to go three and I got my pitch count up there in the eighth. I wasn't able to go three. I wish I had been able to do that to help out the 'pen. That was the only negative about the outing. I felt like I did decent. Fastball command got away from me a little bit in that third inning."
Showalter has been impressed with Bundy's transition to the bullpen, which included the team testing him in a variety of relief roles during spring training.
"Keeping the ball in his hands, staying in his delivery," Showalter said. "I've been really impressed with how he has come in and been in his delivery and not searching for a strike for a long time. I said it before, one of the byproducts of him being hurt for a while is him developing a good changeup. He had a changeup, but he didn't have to use it much. His changeup has been a big pitch for him. His times to the plate have been good. I've been really happy with Dylan so far."
Because Bundy has pitched so few innings over the past three years, and because he's out of minor league options, the Orioles have to carry him as a reliever, but Showalter has said that he could be a consideration to start in the second half of the season.
Worley to start Friday: The Orioles will keep their starting rotation in order as right-hander Vance Worley will make his next scheduled start Friday in Texas.
Before Wednesday's game, Showalter said he'd like to begin getting his starting pitchers in as much of a routine as possible. That was difficult in the first week of the season because the rotation was shuffled because of several weather delays.
"I've got a pretty good idea of where we're going, but I want to get our guys on a little bit of a routine, our starters, and let them start pitching every fifth day," Showalter said. "The weather and the off days haven't been very cooperative, but I'd really like to get everybody on a schedule as soon as we can."
Worley allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings in the Orioles' 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. He was limited to 79 pitches because he hadn't been stretched out in spring training and threw just two innings in his final spring start because of a rain delay.
Wilson waiting for a call: Rookie right-hander Tyler Wilson entered Wednesday having not pitched since tossing three scoreless innings on Opening Day, but is making the most of being in the Orioles bullpen.
"I am definitely learning every day I'm up here," Wilson said. "Not being in the game gives me a chance to sit there and talk pitching with guys like [closer] Zach [Britton] and [setup man] Darren [O'Day] at the end of the game, and that's really invaluable. That type of mental experience and putting myself in situations when I'm not out there, it's been a learning process. And I'm trying to get better every single day in some capacity, whether it's out there on the mound getting game reps or in the bullpen, watching and see how plays develop."
Even though he hasn't pitched in more than a week, Wilson has thrown bullpen sessions in order to get work in and stay ready.
"Anytime you're in the bullpen, and you go two days without pitching, the third day you get a light something before the game, so I've actually had a couple, and I feel great," Wilson said. "No matter how long it goes between outings or wherever I am, it's my job to be ready when that bell does ring.
"Whatever capacity, it looks like it's going to be different here. I haven't pitched in eight days, so I still have to be ready when the ball rings rather than called up for a spot start or something like that. It doesn't change my approach. I go about my business every day. I'm going to be ready every time the bell rings if my name is called."
Around the horn: Showalter said he didn't know when pitching prospect Hunter Harvey would join an affiliate, but it might not be for another two weeks. Showalter said the most recent medical report on Harvey said the right-hander is "ready to go, completely able." … Outfielder/designated hiter Jimmy Paredes took batting practice again and could be nearing a rehabilitation assignment.