SARASOTA, Fla. – Even though most people expect Dylan Bundy to begin the season in the minor leagues, Buck Showalter wants to give him every opportunity to show he belongs in the majors.
Showalter said on Tuesday that he wants Bundy, the team’s No. 1 draft choice in 2011 and Kevin Gausman, last year’s No. 1 draft choice, to get a chance to start this spring.
Both Bundy and Gausman will work on a strict schedule that will allow them to pitch if needed in the majors from Opening Day to the postseason. Last year, Bundy was available to pitch in September for the Orioles.
“I hope we have that issue. That means that he had an unbelievable spring,” Showalter said.
“Dylan Bundy and Gausman will be available to pitch for us in September and October.”
Last year, Bundy pitched one inning in a spring training game against Boston in Fort Myers before being sent to minor league camp.
“Does that mean I’m not pulling for him to make the club? I’m not saying it’s a longshot. We’ve got a lot of innings here for pitchers, so everybody is going to get a long look, including him.”
Showalter mentioned that up to 11 pitchers could be in the mix for starting. Besides Bundy and Gausman, they’re Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, T.J. McFarland, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Steve Johnson and Brian Matusz.
“It’s going to be intriguing to see how it plays out, but we’re also keeping that maneuverability. We’re not going to penalize people. We’re not going to penalize a guy and send him to Triple-A, because he’s got an option. If he has that type of year, we’ll figure it out. I think our guys understand that we’re going to take the best 25,” Showalter said.