Baltimore Orioles Promote Pitching Phenom Dylan Bundy: A Fan's Take

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The Baltimore Orioles won an 18-inning marathon with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The victory pushed Baltimore to within a half game of the first-place New York Yankees (as of Sept. 19) in the American League East. The win also depleted the Baltimore bullpen.

No worries, Orioles fans, Dylan Bundy to the rescue.

The Orioles called up teenage phenom Dylan Bundy from Double-A Bowie on Wednesday to provide depth to a beleaguered bullpen that accounted for 12 2/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday night. Bundy is a 19-year-old right-hander and generally considered baseball's best pitching prospect. Baltimore selected Bundy with the fourth overall pick in the June 2011 amateur draft.

The Orioles eased Bundy into professional baseball and limited the talented youngster to three innings per start early in the season. Bundy blew through the Class-A South Atlantic League, allowing just five hits and no earned runs in 30 innings over eight starts. The Orioles promoted Bundy to Single-A Frederick and gradually increased his workload. Bundy finished the season with Double-A Bowie where he went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts. Bundy finished the minor-league season 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts for three Baltimore affiliates. He recorded 119 strikeouts and walked just 28 in 103 2/3 innings.

Calling up Bundy for the last two weeks of the season has little downside for the Orioles. Bundy was signed to a major-league contract after he was drafted -- meaning he was immediately placed on the Orioles' 40-man roster. At worst, Bundy gives manager Buck Showalter another dynamic arm to put in the bullpen in the event that the Orioles get into another marathon contest like Tuesday's affair with Seattle. At best, Bundy could provide a jolt of adrenaline similar to the one David Price gave the Rays in 2008, and Francisco Rodriguez gave the 2002 Angels.

Bundy could even be called on to start a game before the end of the season. After Wednesday's series finale in Seattle, the Orioles will travel to Boston for a three-game weekend series. Baltimore will host the Blue Jays for a doubleheader next Monday. With the uncertain injury status of Jason Hammel, a cross-country flight, and five games in four days, the Orioles need all the reinforcements they can get.

Bundy's promotion is further proof that the Orioles are going all in as they attempt to make the playoffs for the first time since 1997. It's all-hands on deck in Baltimore as the race for the American League East division crown and the two wild-card spots could come down to the final day of the season.

The future is now for Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore Orioles.

*Information gathered from http://www.baseball-reference.com.

Dan Soderberg is a Baltimore native and lifelong Orioles fan. You can read some of Dan's other work at http://dadstimeout.tumblr.com/ Follow Dan on Twitter.

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