Dylan Bundy has reached the point of the offseason where he pays closer attention to the maneuverings, rumors and doses of news - both good and bad - coming from the Orioles. It’s just done between hunting trips and workouts.
Bundy found out about closer Zach Britton’s ruptured Achilles and hoped that the reports were a mistake.
“I think the first time I saw it was on Twitter or on TV and I didn’t want to believe it at first. I thought it was just a typo,” Bundy said this week on the “Orioles Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan.
“It’s hard. Injuries like that, especially ones that, you’re just doing a simple wind sprint like that. And it just shows you how short this can be and how careful you have to be with your body and take care of it. But I’m sure he’s going to work hard and maintain his rehab and get back to health as soon as he can.”
Britton had to push himself in workouts after appearing in only 38 games due to the strained left forearm and sore left knee that caused the Orioles to shut him down in September. Bundy, however, learned how to back off to avoid causing more harm than good.
All part of the maturation process of a young athlete.
“There’s different points in the season,” he said. “Earlier in the year you probably want to work a little bit more, run a little bit more, because it’s colder out. And then, when you get into the dog days in August and September, it’s hot out and your body’s fatigued a little bit, so maybe one day between starts you’ve got to take it a little bit easier that day. But that’s probably the biggest thing I learned last year was knowing my body and knowing when I needed rest and when I needed to do more.”
Bundy’s older brother, Bobby, is a minor league free agent again. He’s working out, hunting with Dylan and hoping to sign with a team.
* The Orioles need a new hitting coach at Triple-A Norfolk.
I’ve heard that Sean Berry has been hired by the Marlins as their minor league hitting coordinator. Berry just completed his third season as Tides hitting coach after spending four years as Padres minor league hitting coordinator.
The Orioles will sift through in-house candidates for the position, but they’ll also consider an outside hire.
* While making an appearance last month on the “Orioles Hot Stove Show,” rookie Trey Mancini talked about clubhouse chemistry and how teammates embraced him and eased his transition to the majors.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It’s a pretty veteran team, I’d say, overall. A lot of the core group has been together for a long time. From the second I got called up in September of 2016 I felt welcomed and felt like I was part of the team. Any success I had this year, a ton of that is attributed to those guys in the locker room because I went through a bunch of them during the season for advice and help.”
Mancini placed third in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He sat in front of an MLB Network camera and waited for the inevitable announcement that Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was the runaway winner.
Not a whole lot of drama for him, but he handled it like a pro.
“My dad told me I was like the horse that finished third to Secretariat,” he said.
* Tyler Wilson, who became a minor league free agent after seven seasons in the Orioles organization, is close to signing with a team. It could happen as early as today.
The decision is made. It just hasn’t been announced.
That’s all I know. I can’t identify the team.
Wilson, a 10th-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Virginia and one of the nicest guys in baseball, is 8-10 with a 5.02 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Orioles. He made 19 starts among his 42 appearances.
Though unable to build on his early promise, it’s worth noting that Wilson registered a 3.04 ERA in six career games against the Red Sox and was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 0.706 WHIP in three games (two starts) at Fenway Park.
* Luke Scott showed up at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and expressed his interest in making a comeback. Just not as a political commentator.
Scott is 39 and hasn’t played in the majors since 2013 with the Rays, when he appeared in 91 games and batted .241/.326/.415 with 13 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 40 RBIs. The Blue Jays signed him as a free agent in May 2015 and released him three months later.
The journey included stops in Korea in 2014 and Mexico in 2015.
If there isn’t a job for Scott as a player, he’s also intrigued by the idea of serving as a hitting coach. He’d just like to get back in the game in some capacity.
* There’s a report floating around that free agent pitcher Alex Cobb wants a contract that pays him $20 million a year.
I point this out in case anyone thinks the Orioles are in the running for the upper-second tier of pitchers on the market, which also includes Lance Lynn.
The bottom tier already is expensive with Tyler Chatwood getting $38 million over three years from the Cubs.
* Former Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen has escaped the independent Atlantic League, but to embark on the next phase of his professional career.
Bergesen has been hired as pitching coach for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws in the Phillies organization. They play in the South Atlantic League, so be sure to give him a shout when they visit Delmarva.
Bergesen, 32, was 17-24 with a 4.68 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Orioles in 2009-2011. Great at inducing ground balls, but needed a little work at avoiding Billy Butler line drives at his shin.
He also needed to stop overthrowing while filming an offseason commercial, which wrecked his shoulder.
Bergesen’s last major league appearance came with the Diamondbacks in 2012. He pitched in Japan in 2013 and with the independent York Revolution in 2015 and Lancaster Barnstormers this summer.
* While we take a stroll down memory lane, the Brewers signed former Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz to a minor league deal.
Liz, 34, went 6-8 with a 7.50 ERA in parts of three seasons with the Orioles from 2007-2009. He made 14 relief appearances with the Pirates in 2015. Otherwise, he’s been pitching in Korea and Japan, along with his yearly appearances in the Dominican Winter League.