Orioles hope Bundy can be contributor in 2014

Orioles hope Bundy can be contributor in 2014
January 17, 2014, 12:15 pm
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Mar 9, 2012; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy (49) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the game at JetBlue Park. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 5-2.

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Dylan Bundy has been throwing from 60 feet every other day. He told reporters at the Orioles’ minicamp in Sarasota, Fla. this week that his aim is to be throwing off a full mound during spring training. His return date? Late June.

Is that realistic?

It is. Bundy had Tommy John surgery last June 27, and conventional wisdom is that recovery time is about a year. Bundy’s recovery has been progressing nicely.

Bundy was shut down last April with soreness and when rest and treatment didn’t work, surgery was performed. Had Bundy been healthy, he was set to start the season at Bowie.

In 2012, Bundy sped through Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie before two September relief appearances with the Orioles.

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Last year, Kevin Gausman, who was the team’s No. 1 draft choice in 2012, the year after Bundy, nearly exhausted his rookie status with his team with the Orioles.

Gausman stayed in spring training longer than Bundy last year, but had the now 21-year-old been healthy he could have joined the Orioles by June.

While Bundy could begin with some rehab assignments at Gulf Coast, he should return in earnest to Bowie, and the Orioles hope to see him at some point in the season.

They’ll want to be especially careful with him, but they also want to get some innings out of him, too. It will be interesting to see if he’s brought up by the Orioles late this season whether it will be as a starter or reliever.