So far, the Bundy-Gausman duo has lived up to the hype

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy got optioned to the minors on Saturday and that was an inevitable move. The kid used his time in big league camp well. He pitched solidly in games while watching and learning from the veterans. It was a positive experience as the process of grooming Bundy into a big league pitcher - maybe even an ace one day - is well on its way.

It may not be long before he is a mainstay in the Orioles rotation. It just won't happen on opening day and that is fine.

The comparisons between Bundy and Kevin Gausman are inevitable. A few times a day at O's camp, it seems someone will ask one of the reporters who we like better. I've asked that question of others and been asked the question a few times and I've only been here a few days.

Here is the bottom line really: These two make up what is probably the best 1-2 punch of pitching prospects anywhere in baseball. The Pirates can boast Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. I'll take the O's duo and so will a lot of others that track prospects.

If this pair turns out to be as good as some feel they can be, the next, let's say, 10 years of Orioles baseball could be real fun. I know all the sayings about prospects having done nothing yet, and know prospects can flame out and prospects can break your heart. And much of that is true. But any GM in the sport would love to see this duo walk into his clubhouse every day and it only happens in Baltimore.

A concern for both is how will they deal with ridiculously high expectations. So far, they have both dealt with that seamlessly. There are no ego or attitude problems with this pair and they both seem to fit in well with the big league regulars.

Which one will get to the big leagues first? I might give a slight lean to Gausman at this point, but it's not a race and it is really not that important who gets there first. It is about what happens when they do arrive.

How bright is the O's future? If some of, or many of, the young pitchers - to include some guys that already have arrived - do pan out, you may need to shield your eyes from the glare.

Today's coverage: The Orioles will split their squad and play two games today. The O's host Minnesota at Ed Smith Stadium as Steve Johnson gets the start and visit the Phillies in Clearwater with Jason Hammel on the mound.

Two games and two bloggers to cover it for you. Roch will be in Sarasota and I'll be in Clearwater today so check here often this afternoon for double-barrel coverage from MASNsports.com. Both games start at 1:05 p.m. and the home game will also be televised live on MASN.

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