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Orioles notebook: Dylan Bundy unlikely to be a starting option until next season

Orioles relief pitcher Dylan Bundy (37) makes his first major league appearance since 2012 during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards on April 7, 2016.
Orioles relief pitcher Dylan Bundy (37) makes his first major league appearance since 2012 during the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards on April 7, 2016. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun)

During spring training, Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated that ideally right-hander Dylan Bundy would be a starting option later this season.

Bundy, who is working out of the bullpen in a variety of roles, is out of minor league options. But because he entered the season having pitched in just 17 games since Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2013, the Orioles must build his innings count this season through relief work.

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On Friday, Showalter moved away from his earlier comments, saying that Bundy is more likely to become a starting option next year.

"Did I say that? I shouldn't have," Showalter said about his comments this spring. "I'd like to, in a perfect world, but that start might be three innings. I know where I want to get him to with innings. I was talking to [head trainer] Richie [Bancells] about it on the bench last night, about if we pitched him X amount of innings whether he'd be comfortable with him throwing X amount of innings next year.

"He might be out of the bullpen next year. We do know he's out of options, but you don't mind as much if they're being as effective as Dylan has. It's been good experience for him."

Showalter said he'd like to get Bundy a three-inning relief outing. Four of his first nine appearances have been more than one inning and he pitched two innings in two of his three outings before Friday.

"I would have signed up for this in the offseason physically, knock on wood," Showalter said. "I know he's not thinking about [his arm] anymore. I love how the changeup has come. It gives him something to left-handed hitters and now he's throwing it some to right-handed hitters. He's presented himself as a starting option for us next year. We'll see where it takes us."

Bundy entered Friday with a 2.25 ERA over 12 relief innings this season, but he has let four of five inherited runners to score.

Worley valuable in long-man role: As much as was made of the comeback from a five-run deficit in Thursday's 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers, it was reliever Vance Worley who kept the game under control and allowed the Orioles to rally with two scoreless innings in relief of starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

Worley opened the season in the Orioles rotation, making two starts before moving to the bullpen, where he's been used in both short- and long-relief roles. On Thursday, Showalter needed Worley to enter the game with two on and none out in the sixth. Those two inherited runners scored, but Worley stopped the bleeding after that. Worley hasn't been charged with a run in 10 relief innings over six outings, and he earned the win Thursday after the Orioles' comeback.

Showalter said that Worley has fit into the bullpen well.

"You look for certain things with guys there," Showalter said of the long-man role. "You don't see a lot of lethargic, slow-working, deep-count long relievers. There's certain things that they have to be able to change other than the score when they come in. There's got to be a little [deep breath] from the fielders. 'OK, here's a guy who is going to come after people.' … We were hoping that would present itself because he's always been a physically strong and durable guy and we felt like that part of it would come and we thought he'd have the mentality for it."

Worley has the desire to start — he has started for most of his career — but said he has enjoyed his time in the bullpen because he's been able to fill different roles, an opportunity he didn't receive last year when he went to the bullpen while with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"If I could do a [bullpen] role, this would be the one, because I'm not just getting long relief," Worley said. "I'm getting, 'Hey, I need you out here for an inning to give these guys a break. Great, I need that.' If I can go out there and be the long guy and give them a day of rest, I'm all about it.

"I'm just doing what I can to contribute and help these guys win. It shows. I've had every role since I showed up here in spring. I've started, I closed one out in the ninth, something I never do. Last time I did that was my debut. Other than that, long guy, two innings here, three [innings], two outs, whatever. I'm just happy to get the ball and do what I can do to help."

Worley said getting regular work has also helped him get used to a bullpen role again.

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"It's huge," Worley said. "Not only does [it help] myself but it's going to help these guys in the long run because I'm going to be able to stay sharp. It's definitely more comfortable. Last year was a learning experience all around. On the field, off the field, it helped mold me into who I am this season and I think as much as I hated last year, I think it was a good thing for me. It taught me how to handle anything."

Gallardo to resume throwing Saturday: Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (right shoulder tendinitis), who hasn't thrown since leaving his last start on April 22, will resume throwing Saturday with a light session of playing catch.

Gallardo will begin a throwing progression Saturday with 25 throws from 60 feet out on flat ground. Over the next week, he will extend the distance, going to 90 feet and then 120, before he's able to throw off a mound and eventually go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

"It's not so much how he feels [Saturday] while he's doing it," Showalter said. "It's how he feels after it the next day. … I know he's pretty excited about getting out there. He's being — I'm not saying killing himself — but he's really been getting after it down there. … He's basically living in [the weight room]."

It will be three weeks since Gallardo has thrown, which he said is the longest time he has gone without throwing since having ACL surgery on his right knee in 2008.

Until now, Gallardo has been doing exercises, building strength in his shoulder with weighted cuffs, working his way from two pounds to five pounds. He said the shoulder work has done wonders with his shoulder strength, and he plans to continue abbreviated exercises as he resumes throwing and even when he returns to the Orioles rotation.

Around the horn: Orioles pitching rehab coordinator Scott McGregor will fill in as major league pitching coach from Saturday through Tuesday as Dave Wallace attends to a family matter. … Designated hitter-outfielder Jimmy Paredes, whose minor league rehab assignment ends Sunday, entered Friday hitting .328/.385/.517 with two homers and eight RBIs in 16 games. He went 7-for-17 (.412/.421/.706) in his first five games with Triple-A Norfolk. … Doug O'Neill, the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite Nyquist, was at Camden Yards on Friday as a guest of the Orioles.

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