BOWIE, Md. - Amid rumors the Orioles are considering calling him up to the major leagues soon, 19-year-old pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will make his third Double-A start this afternoon at Prince George's Stadium at 2:05 when the Bowie Baysox host Harrisburg.
Bundy is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his first two Bowie games. Over 11 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits, five runs (four earned) with four walks and seven strikeouts. Eastern League batters are hitting .238 off the Orioles' top pitching prospect.
This will be Bundy's 23rd start of the year. Between Single-A Delmarva, Single-A Frederick and Bowie, he is 8-3 with an ERA of 2.01. Over 98 1/3 innings, Bundy has given up just 63 hits with 24 walks and 113 strikeouts. Opponent batters are hitting just .184 against him.
Baysox manager Gary Kendall said he doesn't know if the O's plan to bring Bundy to Baltimore.
"I haven't heard anything," he said. "I know he's here and he's a Bowie Baysox player and if they choose to take him, we're happy for him."
Kendall was impressed with Bundy's first two Bowie outings.
"I liked what I saw," he said. "At times he has elevated the ball and, at this level, when you do that, the middle of the lineup guys will put good swings on that. When he's had a mistake here, it's been on a ball up in the zone.
"But he's got a good arm and knows what he's doing out there. There is a drive in him that you see in guys that have success in the majors. He wants to make all his pitches better and he's not afraid to use all of them. He truly believes in his stuff."
The Baysox are closing in on their first playoff berth since 2008. Bowie won 5-4 on a Caleb Joseph RBI single in the last of the ninth last night. Bowie has won four straight, scoring 37 runs in that time and is 10-3 over its last 13 games.
The Baysox are in second place and lead third-place Richmond by five games for a playoff spot with nine games left. Bowie's magic number to clinch a postseason berth is five.
It looks like there is a chance that the Baysox could get Aaron Baker back for the playoffs. He was promoted July 20 from Frederick, but after going 3-for-7 with four RBIs in two games, suffered an oblique injury in batting practice on his third day with the team.
"There is a possibility (Baker could return)," Kendall said. "He's not game ready right now but he is taking batting practice with us. He could go somewhere before the end of year, maybe a level beneath us, to get some at-bats and see where he is. If we get to postseason, maybe there is a move to be made."
Despite missing more than a month, Baker is still the Orioles' minor league leader in homers with 22 and is second in RBIs with 76.
The Baysox batters will face Chien Ming-Wang today as he makes his eighth start for Harrisburg. Wang is on a major league rehab stint and is 1-4 with a 5.17 ERA for the Senators.
Today's game starts at 2:05 p.m. Check back this afternoon for more on Bundy's outing and follow me on Twitter for updates @masnsteve.
Rain update: As of 1:15 p.m. it is pouring here at Prince George's Stadium and the tarp is on the field. At the moment we're waiting to see if this subsides and they can play ball today at Bowie.
Later update: It is still raining in Bowie and the tarp remains on the field as of 2:18 p.m. No word on if they will get this game in. The game is in the hands of Eastern League officials, not the Baysox front office, as this is the last scheduled home game against Harrisburg. But the Baysox play at Harrisburg next weekend and they could make up the game during that series if need be.
But as of now, the rain has lightened up a bit and this is game has not yet been postponed.