Bundy will undergo ligament-reconstructive surgery Thursday morning in Gulf Breeze, Fla. The Orioles are hopeful that he will be cleared to pitch next summer.
“The thinking was that Dylan is 20 years old, he’s very young and it’s early in his career, and after giving it two times of rest and significant rest, and the elbow not responding and being capable of handling the workload required, the doctors and Dylan decided this was the best course,” Duquette said.
“We certainly support it. Jim Andrews is a renowned surgeon and he’s agreed to do it. I spoke to (Bundy) and he feels comfortable with his decision to go forward and have the surgery.”
Duquette wasn’t sure whether the tear already existed in Bundy’s elbow before the first MRI, or whether it appeared later.
“I don’t know about the exact history of the prognosis of the elbow, but I do know in these cases, when you have strain on the flexor mass, that’s an indication that the elbow is not capable of handling the workload or withstanding the stress of pitching,” Duquette said. “In some cases, I understand if the pitcher is very strong, the elbow could be compromised and the flexor mass would take over and the pitcher would be able to pitch capably. I think there are some pitchers in the big leagues like that. But that is not the case with Dylan.
“He gave it a significant rest and the elbow didn’t respond to the rest. And then he went and had the PRP injection, and then he also gave it another significant amount of time to rest and recuperate. So, having given it two times rest and having treated it conservatively, that was an indication that something else needs to be done to allow him to be a capable pitcher. But again, at 20 years old, he should be able to come back and effectively pitch.”
Duquette said the tear was caused simply by “the stress of pitching.”
“The significant stress put on the elbow from the throwing motion, and this is the response,” he said.
“I think it’s always best to try the conservative approach and to try rest and recuperation, because the intervention takes a longer time. In Dylan’s case, he gave it two chances to rest and recover. He’s also very young, so he has time to be able to come back and pitch effectively.
“The surgery is designed to help stabilize the elbow, and sometimes when you have the surgery and the doctors do the intervention, the elbow is more stable than before. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but sometimes that’s the case, as I understand it.”
The Orioles expect Bundy, a workout fanatic, to approach his rehab with the necessary effort and enthusiasm.
“Dylan’s a hard worker and he’s very stubborn,” Duquette said. “He has some really good qualities to be a good pitcher. The rehab is a challenge because you’ve got to go through different progressions and stages. It’s important that he work closely with the therapist, but I’m sure Dylan’s up to the task of rehab.”
Duquette is known to be scouring the market for available starting pitching, but he didn’t use Bundy’s surgery as a reason.
“It’s unfortunate for Dylan that he had the injury and he’s going to miss time for his career,” Duquette said. “Fortunately for the Orioles, we have other pitchers and we have some pitching depth and it’s just the right thing to do at this time. We have other alternatives for our team.”
Jason Hammel has retired the first six batters tonight on 23 pitches, including only eight in the first inning. He struck out Michael Brantley and Jason Giambi to end the second.
Down on the farm, Brian Roberts has walked in his first two plate appearances tonight at Triple-A Norfolk.
Also, the Orioles have signed infielder Felipe Betemit to a minor league contract. He will report to the Dominican Summer League team.
Betemit is the younger brother of Orioles infielder Wilson Betemit. He plays all of the infield positions.
Betemit appeared in 65 games with the Diamondbacks’ Dominican Summer League teams in 2010 and 2011, posting a .162/.304/.200 line.
Update: Hammel retired the first 10 batters before hitting Asdrubal Cabrera with one out in the fourth, at least according to plate umpire Ted Barrett, and Jason Kipnis followed with his 11th home run.
Hammel’s pitch bounced in front of Cabrera.
The first 12 Orioles have been retired, though first base umpire Will Little blew the call on Manny Machado with one out in the fourth.
Machado dove into the bag, and the MASN replay showed his hand touching it before Scott Kazmir’s foot. First base coach Wayne Kirby argued the call, as did manager Buck Showalter, who didn’t get ejected this time.
That play will loom large if Kazmir remains perfect or his no-hitter stays intact.