Bundy optioned to Double-A to continue rehab

O's top pitching prospect working way back from Tommy John surgery

Bundy optioned to Double-A to continue rehab

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned Dylan Bundy to Double-A Bowie on Friday, a move that will allow the right-hander to continue his rehab back from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow.

"It's a paperwork move," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Bundy's reassignment, which will put him on the Minor League disabled list to start the season. "It's the same thing whether he's really here or there as far as what we get done with him. [Medical services coordinator] Dave Walker's been with him the whole offseason. He has a throw day on the 19th. I'd be surprised if he didn't do it at [the Major League facility] Ed Smith."

Bundy will progress to throwing off a flat mound, which he will do a second time on March 21, and will take two more days off after that. The organization is hoping he can be an option for the big league club in June.

The 21-year-old is still considered the Orioles' best pitching prospect and one of the top prospects in all of baseball despite the injury setback. Bundy said Friday morning he's excited to be past the rehab phase and encouraged about his progress since undergoing surgery last June.

"I don't want to jinx anything," Bundy said. "I don't want to say too much about it. Just keep doing my work and everything should be fine."

"I don't want to say he learned something," Showalter said.

"I think the whole experience, in the long haul has probably been good for him. It's made him kind of step back, and once again, realize that more is not always better. You don't have to throw 20 medicine balls up against the wall. You've got train smart, but I don't care how great a shape somebody's in, the human body needs time to recover."

The Orioles first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy went 9-3 in his first full pro season in 2012, reaching the Majors for two relief outings.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.