O’s pondering AFL decision for Bundy

It sounds like the Orioles are leaning toward sending their first-round draft pick, pitcher Dylan Bundy, to the Arizona Fall League, although a final decision has not been made.

The AFL season runs from Oct. 4 through Nov. 17.

If the Orioles make that move with Bundy, I would guess he would not throw many innings there.

As they plan the next year for this young talent, they have to work off one fact: He pitched just 71 innings during his high school schedule this season in Oklahoma and did not pitch on a summer team after the draft.

The Orioles, as any team would likely do with such a young talent, should be expected to proceed cautiously with his powerful right arm.

If he goes to the AFL, then resumes a pre-spring training throwing program in December, then reports to major league spring training in mid-February and then reports to a full-season club in the minors next April, is that too busy a schedule for Bundy?

How many innings will they want him to pitch next season and how deep into games will they want him to pitch to avoid having to be shut down early?

Bundy is not likely to come out during his first pro season and crank out 150 innings. Look at how the Pirates have used Jameson Taillon this year. He is the high school pitcher taken with the second pick in the 2010 draft that, like Bundy, signed on the final day to do so last August.

Taillon has been with West Virginia of the Single-A South Atlantic League this year since late April. He has made 20 appearances, all starts, but has thrown only 79 2/3 innings. I would guess Bundy will be handled in a similar fashion next year by the Orioles.

Some fans will want this young talent to rush his way through the farm system and can’t wait to see him pitch as an Oriole. The pace of his development could pick up speed at any point, I guess, but I would not expect him to be driving in the fast lane in year one with the club.

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