Showalter rules out callup for Bundy

Showalter rules out callup for Bundy

BALTIMORE -- Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will head to instructional league when his season with Double-A Bowie ends, manager Buck Showalter announced prior to Wednesday's game.

The news effectively eliminates speculation that the 19-year-old Bundy would be a September callup as part of Baltimore's playoff push.

Bundy pitched 5 1/3 innings on Tuesday night, allowing a pair of runs and walking four, and the organization doesn't feel he's ready right now. Since being promoted to Bowie, Bundy -- in his first professional season -- is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA over 16 2/3 innings, allowing 14 hits (three homers), three hit batsmen and eight walks against 19 strikeouts.

"Instructional league starts on the 12th [of September]," Showalter said. "There's some things, he's at a level where he's been challenged, just like he got challenged more in [High A] Frederick. He had some outings that weren't [good]. I think the progression of his development has been great. Couldn't ask for a better progression."

The organization's top pitching prospect -- and one of baseball's top up-and-coming arms -- Bundy didn't allow an earned run in 30 innings of Low-A ball, then had a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts with Frederick before being promoted to Bowie.

The organization has monitored his innings all season, initially wanting to keep him in the 125-130 range, although there's indications he could go beyond that marker in instructional league. Bundy has thrown 103 2/3 innings so far this season.

Asked if the organization could call up Bundy in September just to expose him to the atmosphere, Showalter said in a perfect world, perhaps.

"[Procedurally], there's some other things that happen if you do that," Showalter said. "Frankly, what you got to ask yourself is, does he have a chance to be on your club to start the season next year? And that kind of effects the way you look at it.

"Right now, I want him to pitch his butt off and help Bowie win an Eastern League Championship. That's where I want his mindset. And then when that's over, look forward to working on some weaknesses down in instructional league with some very good instructors."

The Orioles could still call up a player from Bowie, with right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter the most logical candidate. Prospect Mike Wright, who the organization selected in the third round of last year's Draft, is also turning some heads.