Can Bundy overcome Bucknor and extend quality streak?

DETROIT - A rotation that receives its rightful share of criticism for its abbreviated outings can point to Dylan Bundy as a shining exception.

Dylan-Bundy-throwing-gray-sidebar.jpgBundy will try this afternoon to extend his streak of quality starts to nine. Not bad considering that Bundy is making his ninth start.

The Tigers have limited exposure to Bundy - his one relief appearance when he retired all four batters faced with two strikeouts at Camden Yards. He’s never pitched at Comerica Park.

Mikie Mahtook is 2-for-2 against Bundy. Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias, James McCann and Justin Upton are 0-1. That’s it for Bundy versus the Tigers.

CB Bucknor will be working the plate. Bundy may wish that his streak of not pitching here would continue for one more season.

Here’s a quick list of things I’d rather do than watch Bucknor work the plate, or any base for that matter:

* Remove my eyes with a melon baller.
* Remove someone else’s eyes with a melon baller.
* Tickle a grizzly.
* Make a candle out of ear wax.
* Follow a circus elephant with a shovel.
* Be a circus elephant.
* Be a shovel.

Jordan Zimmermann is 3-2 with a 6.28 ERA and 1.655 WHIP this season in seven starts. He’s allowed 51 hits in 38 2/3 innings and is averaging a career-high three walks per nine innings.

While Bundy keeps cranking out quality, Zimmermann hasn’t completed six innings in his last three starts. He’s allowed nine runs and 15 hits and surrendered four home runs in 11 innings in his last two outings.

Zimmermann is 2-4 with a 5.82 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in seven career starts against the Orioles over 38 2/3 innings. Chris Davis is 4-for-7 with two home runs and Caleb Joseph is 2-for-2 with a home run.

Adam Jones is 4-for-19 with two home runs and Seth Smith is 2-for-11 with a double and triple.

Joseph figures to catch today following Welington Castillo’s start last night. Castillo caught 13 innings in Tuesday night’s series opener and wanted to stay in the lineup, leaving manager Buck Showalter with a decision.

“He felt a lot better (yesterday) than he thinks he will (today). That’s usually how it works,” Showalter said.

“He’s going to want to catch all three. He wants to make up for a lot of time. He was in here early. He made sure to tell me (Tuesday) night, ‘I feel great.’ I told him, ‘We want to keep you that way.’

“He came in (yesterday) bouncing around. He felt good. He said, ‘Hey man, I’ve had a lot of time off.’ He said, ‘I can catch every game here.’ He doesn’t believe in any of those day game, night game things. He was almost getting stronger (Tuesday) as the game went on, but with his shoulder and stuff ... But he said he felt great.”

Castillo threw out Ian Kinsler last night trying to steal second base in the first inning. The throw bounced, but got there in plenty of time. And he collected three more hits, giving him six in two nights since being activated.

Miguel Castro, called up yesterday from Double-A Bowie, made his Orioles debut and worked a scoreless eighth with a strikeout.

“He’s really a three-pitch mix,” Showalter said. “The changeup has been good for him some at the major league level. He’s got a plus fastball. Decent slider. He’s got a good arm. If you remember him with Dunedin in Toronto, they kind of anointed him the closer over there for a little while.

“We had some good reports on him. We’ll see. Big jump for him. I’m anxious to see him.”

Castro found out yesterday that the Orioles were bringing him to Detroit and he arrived around 4 p.m. It appears that they were checking on other possibilities before making the decision, though I can’t offer anything specific.

Castro threw 21 of his 25 pitches for strikes.

“First of all, thank God for this opportunity,” he said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. “I was sleeping in my hotel when they called me. I was very surprised. Very excited for this opportunity to be here and represent this team.

“I just tried to concentrate on making good pitches. If I make quality pitches, I think I’ll get the result I want.”

Count Castillo among the players who were impressed by Castro.

“That’s a guy that has great stuff,” he said. “I saw him pitch before. He’s got an electric fastball, a really good change and a slider. This is a guy who’s going to go right at them. He’s one of those guys, ‘Hey, you’re going to hit me or I’m going to get you out.’ That’s the type of stuff that he has. His mound presence, too. I like him.”

Edwin Jackson pitched in relief again yesterday at Triple-A Norfolk, allowing a hit and striking out a batter in two-thirds of an inning. He was credited with a hold.

Jackson has made five appearances since the Orioles removed him from extended spring training. He’s gone fewer than two innings in the last four, an obvious sign that he’s not viewed at the present as a starter candidate.

“He continues to present himself as an option for us if we have a need,” Showalter said. “I know the same way with Miguel and Edwin that you’re trying to make sure that they’re ready. They didn’t have much spring training, so they’re really just finishing up their spring training. I know Castro sat for nine days before we got him, so he had to go through some building up the arm strength.”

The Orioles have two openings on their 40-man roster, leading to more speculation that Jackson is nearing a promotion.

“It doesn’t mean we have to fill them,” Showalter said, drawing laughter in the dugout during yesterday’s pregame media session. “I know we have a couple of thoughts about where they might fall if we need them. I’m sure you all can figure it out.”

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