Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Dylan Bundy will be available out of the O's bullpen tonight and for now, his role is in the 'pen and not as a starter.
"We brought him up today to support the bullpen," Duquette told MASNsports.com. "Our immediate need is we may need some innings for tonight's game. Long-term, we think he's going to be a starter in the big leagues. But sometimes it's best to have pitchers get their feet wet out of the bullpen, right? That is where he'll go for tonight's game and after that, Buck (Showalter) will decide how he wants to utilize his skill. He's worked hard to put himself in this position, there is a need and he's on the roster."
Was there any concern about Bundy to the big leagues at the age of 19?
"Dylan is a very uniquely gifted pitcher. He has trained and prepared for this opportunity his whole life," Duquette said. "I think he has prepared his whole life to be a major league ballplayer and that is what his calling is. All we're asking Dylan to do is what he can do. Throw strikes and do his job."
Having said that, Duquette also said the club was not close to calling up Bundy before the 18-inning game at Seattle.
"No (we were not close to calling him up before)," Duquette said. "He was working on some things at Double-A and then he was down in the instructional league, but he's got an opportunity to support the team now. The timing was driven by the needs of the major league team. But he's on the roster and he has the skills and now he'll get some experience."
Is it possible Bundy will be the first man used out of the bullpen tonight?
"That is something you'll have to talk to Buck about," Duquette said.
Duquette did confirm that Bundy would be available to be on the Orioles' playoff roster later if they make it and decide to add him.
"That's correct. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's worry about tonight's ballgame," he said. "Let's keep going towards the playoffs and we're trying to win the division. But any player that was in the organization on Aug. 31 is eligible to be chosen for the playoff roster."
Duquette said he expects Bundy to remain with the team at least through the end of the regular season.
"Yeah, probably so. He did a good job at each stop (in the minors) and worked on the skills he needs to be a big leaguer," Duquette said. "He did a good job right from the start upon reporting to spring training."
Bundy has gone 9-3 this year with an ERA of 2.08 over 23 starts at three minor league levels. He went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three regular season starts for Double-A Bowie and then gave up just one run in six innings of a Baysox playoff start against Akron.
Bundy has thrown 109 2/3 innings total this year and Duquette said his innings amount is not any concern at this point.
"That is not an issue. The volume and intensity of his workload we've monitored very closely and that is not an issue right now."
Duquette also indicated that Bundy will not be throwing his cut fastball in the big leagues.
"I'm not going to get into that discussion and I'll tell you why. I'm already on the record as to what the organization's philosophy is. We don't think it's a good pitch for young pitchers. We think there are much better pitches and pitchers have better long-term success with a different mix of pitches. I think his other pitches are much better for getting out major league hitters," Duquette said.