SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's been widely speculated that top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman could reach the Major Leagues at some point this season. The pair of youngsters -- who are both in camp -- will be closely monitored this spring to ensure they will be options to the help the Orioles down the stretch.
"[Bundy will] have a longer rope early," manager Buck Showalter said of Bundy getting 30-35 innings more than last year. "He's excited about that. Gausman will be similar. When you look at the innings he pitched at LSU and what he did in instructional league, he's got a little different plan.
"They're going to have a minicamp that allows them to do whatever we allow them to do in August, September and October for the Major League club if they're in the mix -- provided they don't make the club [out of camp]."
It's a long shot Bundy or Gausman break camp with the Orioles, given the organization's pitching depth and their relative inexperience in professional baseball -- although they have been impressive early and acclimated well to the laid-back nature of the O's clubhouse. Bundy threw in Saturday's Grapefuit League opener, while Gausman is scheduled to make his first official spring appearance on Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin.
Bundy worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning in his spring debut. Bundy struck out Darin Mastroianni on three pitches to start things off and allowed a broken-bat single to Eduardo Escobar and a right-field hit to Brandon Boggs. Brian Dinkleman worked a two-out walk on a full-count before Bundy fanned Chris Colabello on a called strike three. Bundy's fastball was routinely in the 93-94-mph range according to the stadium's radar gun.
Last year, the Orioles gave Bundy extra days of rest, and gradually built up the length of his outings in order to avoid shutting him down early. They will adopt a similar approach with both pitchers in 2013.
"I have a sheet on my desk that has every pitcher in the organization [and] where they're going to go with the innings they're going to pitch this year," Showalter said. "We're going to get there so that they have innings left for the Major League team in September and October. I think they're a possibility."