SARASOTA, Fla. - For Dylan Bundy, it was a day when his velocity increased some from his last start, but his command was still not where he wanted it to be. Bundy took the loss this afternoon when he gave up a ninth-inning run as Tampa Bay beat the Orioles 4-3 in Sarasota.
Bundy pitched the last three innings, allowing two hits and one run with two walks and one strikeout. He now has an ERA of 1.13 through four spring training games.
"It's never up to my standards, you know," Bundy said about today's outing. "That outing right there, (two) walks, command is not there right now. I'm trying to tinker with some stuff right now. It will be there.
"Yes, as far as mechanics-wise and the things I was working on out there, I felt good about it, other than the (two) walks. Now I have to play with it some more and the command will come later."
In his last game, a two-inning start Saturday against Boston, Bundy's fastball was recorded between 90 and 94 mph and today he was mostly between 93 and 97.
"You could say it's relief (to have the velocity increase)," Bundy said. "It's nice to see something like that go up a little bit when I am working on things. It's nice."
Bundy said he is working on speeding up his delivery.
"Speeding everything up. I got so slow doing so much dry work last year," he said. "Now I am trying to get back to what I was doing in high school and speeding everything back up. Like as far as my feet, my leg kick and my drive to home plate, just speed all that up."
Bundy also is working to speed up his time to home plate when pitching out of the stretch. It is something manager Buck Showalter wants all of the organization's pitchers to do well, with a time to the plate of 1.35 or better. That gives a catcher as good as Matt Wieters time to throw out plenty of runners with an accurate throw.
Bundy had a good time today in the ninth inning when catcher Luis Exposito threw out Tim Beckham trying to steal second.
"I've been working on that since the middle of last year," he said. "When I came into the minor leagues, I was about a 1.5 or 1.6. Now I'm at a 1.35. That is all right if you have a good catcher back there. They'll throw guys out if you are a 1.3."
Bundy has allowed just one earned run in eight spring innings and that was the run in the ninth inning today, which scored in unusual fashion. Interference was ruled on Exposito when he apparently picked up the baseball with his catcher's mask.
Bundy said he had never seen that call before. He's not alone.
"I didn't really know at all what it was. I never really heard of that. It doesn't really matter, that's baseball," he said.
While Bundy struggled with his command today - he said he threw just one of seven sliders for a strike - he did have a decent change-up and said he threw at least 10.
Is he generally happy with where he is at, at this point of spring training?
"I wouldn't say pleased, I think everyone here knows that," he said. "But I am seeing a tiny bit of improvement. It is just not a whole lot yet."