It could be brief or he could make it through the remaining weeks of September. The Orioles, at the risk of sounding cliched, are taking it one game at a time.
Manager Buck Showalter has grown accustomed to the pace.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” he said. “Tomorrow brings getting in (Boston) at 8 in the morning.”
So much for a relaxing off day.
“We’re going one day at a time,” Showalter said. “We need arms tonight. I’m not going to put anybody in harm’s way.”
Showalter is referring to the group of relievers who aren’t available tonight. He’s not going to force the likes of Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson and Darren O’Day into tonight’s game, no matter its importance.
So why Bundy?
“He’s out best option,” Showalter said. “He’s on the (40-man) roster, which is big if someone does their homework on where the roster is right now and what else we might have to do. If we bring in somebody else non-roster, there’s only so many moves.
“He’s healthy and he’s capable of helping us. And if you look at it, we’ve got four or five guys who aren’t pitching tonight. We need today and tomorrow to get them back on their feet, especially with the doubleheader coming up (Monday). We need some length in our bullpen. All year, I’ve been trying to protect the health of it and it’s working out OK, and I will continue to do that. And also, who else?”
Who else except the 19-year-old kid who started the year at low Single-A Delmarva and rocketed to the majors. He was supposed to stay in the instructional league. He could go back quickly or leave it behind.
The expectation is he will stick around, but it’s one day, one game, at a time.
“The most important thing is we think he can help us,” Showalter said. “We hope he doesn’t have to pitch, but it’s better to be equipped. That’s when you have problems with your bullpen, when you’re not equipped. But hopefully, Joe (Saunders) goes nine innings tonight.”
Showalter avoided using Miguel Gonzalez last night, making the right-hander available to start Friday night in Boston, with Chris Tillman going Saturday or Sunday. The other starter is undecided.
“We’re talking about that now. We’re taking a look at it,” Showalter said. “A lot depends on how Tillman’s work day goes today.”
Could Bundy make the start? Don’t even go there with Showalter.
“If Joe gets hit by a line drive in the first inning, Bundy is pitching,” Showalter said. “When the smoke clears, Tillman should pitch Saturday or Sunday. I would tell you if I knew for sure. We’re playing it day by day.
“He may not even pitch while he’s here. Who knows?”
The Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 4-2, in Game 1 of their doubleheader today, dropping the Orioles into second place in the American League East.