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If the Orioles called up Dylan Bundy to pitch in a few games in September, I have no doubt that would excite the fans. It would be amazing, thrilling and very, very cool to see that happen for a 19-year-old kid.
And Bundy is probably good enough or very close to that to handle it right now.
But I don't think the Orioles should do it.
This kid has had an amazing year. He will easily win the Orioles minor league Pitcher of the Year award and may be baseball's No. 1 prospect right now. For Bundy and the Birds, 2012 has been a banner success.
They have handled him very well in my opinion. I like how they eased him into things with Single-A Delmarva so he would have enough innings to pitch all year and not have to be shut down early. They set it up so Bundy can go deep into games now, at a time when he is pitching at the highest level he's ever been at, against the best hitters he'll face all year. That was just smart.
They also set it up so that he will end the regular season with Double-A Bowie at about 110 innings which means he could pitch more in September if they choose to bring him to Baltimore. It was set up for them to have that option. Again, the front office has done a great job with how they managed Bundy this year, despite some of the criticism they received.
But maybe it's time to just say this has been a banner year for the kid, pitching at three levels at the age of 19 and now he's knocking on the door to Baltimore. Maybe it's the right time to just let him finish this season, give him a pat on the back and tell him his 2012 season is over.
The Orioles could bring him to instructional league or let him pitch a few innings in the Arizona Fall League if they want to continue his development. But I just don't think it's the right time to put him in a tie game in the sixth inning against the Yankees or anyone else right now in a pennant race.
If Bundy pitches lights out over these next few Double-A starts, I reserve the right to change this opinion, but right now this is how I feel.
I may have buried the lead here somewhat, but based on what I hear the pitching prospect that may have a shot at getting called up is Kevin Gausman, the LSU right-hander that starts for Single-A Frederick tonight.
Gausman has pitched a very strong six innings with Aberdeen over two starts there that got a lot of people's attention. He is an advanced and polished college pitcher with a real strong fastball-changeup combo. It's probably a long shot to think he will join the Orioles at some point this season, but I just have heard that it's possible and certainly not been ruled out at this point.
One last point here. If the Orioles did call on Bundy and/or Gausman, you could also see that possibly happen before the end of this month to make that pitcher or pitchers eligible for post-season play.
We've got some real intrigue brewing here. It's now possible that Gausman could be the more ready of these two top pitching prospects to get to the majors but it's quite a coup for this organization that both could have come so far so fast to even be considered to pitch any innings for the big club at this point.
The Cal Ripken World Series is coming down the home stretch in Aberdeen.
Here is the schedule for today and tomorrow:
2:30 p.m. - League of Dreams Exhibition Game
5:00 p.m. - US Championship Game
7:30 p.m. - International Championship
Post-Game Awards Ceremony
Followed by Father Son Catch on the Field
Live Music by Shores Calling on Ripken Way.