ABERDEEN, Md. - Pitching on the one-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, Dylan Bundy pitched five more scoreless innings for short-season, Single-A Aberdeen tonight in what will likely be his last start in the New York-Penn League.
At this point, Single-A Frederick appears to be the most likely next stop for Bundy, although nothing has been announced.
Bundy’s fastball again sat in the 90 to 94 mph range on the Ripken Stadium scoreboard radar gun as he allowed just two singles and a double. He walked two and fanned seven batters.
Bundy said earlier today he thought briefly about this being the one-year anniversary of his surgery. At this point he’s very happy how far he’s come.
“Very thankful. Dr. Andrews did a good surgery. No problems, no soreness, no pain. Had more in the tank aftrer this outing. Always something to be happy about,” Bundy said.
Orioles director of player developent Brian Graham watched from the dugout tonight. He said the final decision on where Bundy pitches next has not yet been made, but it’s clear the right-hander is ready to move up.
“He definitely looks like he’s ready to go to another level. He’s competed well here, made good pitches and looks healthy. I think it’s time to go to another level,” Graham said.
Graham also revealed tonight that Bundy is likely to be held to 75 pitches in his starts throughout this year.
“It’s going to be a 75-pitch limit, you know, all the way through the summer,” he said. “I don’t see it going much above 75, if it does. That is the way you do it on a ligament rehab. You get to a certain pitch level and you stay there for the whole season.”
Hudson Valley second baseman Jace Conrad singled to right on the game’s first pitch, but later was caught stealing on a third strike to complete an inning-ending double play.
Bundy walked a batter in the second and third innings. He gave up a single in the fourth and a one-out double to left on an 0-2 curveball in the fifth. But the Renegades failed to score against the Orioles’ 2011 first-round pick.
“Decent outing,” Bundy said. “I still could have done a lot better. Strike zone was a little tighter than it has been in the past here. Kind of a good thing (because) going to the next level I’m going to need that. Makes me realize I have to bring the pitches in a little bit more.
“Definitely happy with the curveball today. It was a sharper. Left a couple off-speed pitches up and they hit them.”
Bundy was pleased with his fastball velocity which sat between 90 and 94 tonight.
“Yeah, 94 is plenty, that will get people out - 90 to 92 will get people out, too. It definitely helps having a little bit extra, just need to command it more,” he said.
Bundy gave up a run in the third inning of his first start but has recorded 12 consecutive scoreless innings since. Over 15 innings in three Aberdeen starts, he has allowed 10 hits and just one run with three walks and 22 strikeouts. He has a 0.60 ERA.
In these three starts, opposing batters went 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts against Bundy with runners in scoring position. With runners on base he has allowed just one hit in 22 at-bats.
Bundy’s next stop may turn out to be Frederick. There is no reason to rush him to Double-A, although Bowie remains a slight possibility, as well.