Even though the co-AL East leaders are flying high after a marathon 4-2 win over Seattle in 18 innings on Tuesday, they're also facing the fact that they just burned through seven relievers over 12 2/3 innings to earn that victory. And so with the bullpen feeling a little fatigued, they've made the call to promote the team's top prospect, 19-year-old right-hander Dylan Bundy.
The news was first reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, who says that Bundy got an early Wednesday morning phone call telling him of the promotion. He'll spend the better part of today sitting on an airplane from Florida to Seattle before being available for Wednesday night's game. (Bundy might also want to think about canceling this weekend's deep-sea fishing trip that he was telling us about on Twitter.)
Bundy, the fourth pick in the 2011 draft, had a fantastic 2012 season in the minors going 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA over three different levels. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo also considered Bundy the top prospect in all of baseball once Texas promoted Jurickson Profar earlier this month.
Still, the Orioles had remained pretty adamant about not calling up Bundy this season, even though they've experienced success with the promotion of Manny Machado. It appeared as if he'd start 2013 with that designation since he hadn't progressed past Double-A and manager Buck Showalter mentioned Bundy's last minor-league start, an effort that saw him walk four batters in 5 1/3 innings.
But a tight division with the New York Yankees can change a lot of things and so Bundy will likely make his MLB debut from the bullpen in the days ahead. Whatever happens, he'll almost certainly start 2013 back on the farm and he could again take that top spot as baseball's best prospect. The only difference is that he'll have a big-league record to his name.
And if all goes well, a nice chunk of change from a postseason share.
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