Minor league notes on Bobby Bundy and farm system managers

Three years before the Orioles drafted pitcher Dylan Bundy, they selected his older brother Bobby in the eighth round of the 2008 draft. The right-hander was signed to a $600,000 bonus.

Like Dylan, Bobby has battled injuries in his career. He was throwing well early last season for Double-A Bowie - touching 93 and 94 mph - when he suffered a season-ending right knee injury. He was injured while fielding a ball on May 5 against Akron. He had ACL surgery on that same knee in high school. But the good news is he is fine now and is expected to be 100 percent for spring training. Bundy was a minor league free agent, but the Orioles re-signed him Dec. 16.

Earlier in his career, Bobby Bundy was among the O’s top-rated prospects. He was No. 15 after the 2008 season, No. 14 following 2010 and No. 17 after the 2011 season.

Baseballs glove.jpgHe was doing a solid job for Bowie when he was hurt. He had a 1-0 record and 4.20 ERA in eight games. In his last four Bowie outings, he had given up just one run over 8 1/3 innings.

“During the time when he has been healthy, he’s shown a good arm. He was showing good velocity and life last year,” Orioles director of player development Brian Graham said.

Before the knee injury Bundy had overcome a lot to get back on a mound. He had bone spurs removed twice from his right elbow and eventually had ligament-reconstructive surgery, the same procedure Dylan underwent in June 2013.

The two brothers pitched in the same game a couple of times last season, twice for Bowie and it happened once for the Orioles in spring training. The brothers pitched against St. Louis on March 12. Before that spring game, the last time they saw their names in the same box score it was April 2008. Dylan was a freshman and Bobby a senior at Owassa (Okla.) High School.

The Orioles recently announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2016 season. For their six affiliates, five managers return and one moves from hitting coach to manager. The returnees are Ron Johnson for Triple-A Norfolk, Gary Kendall at Bowie, Ryan Minor at Single-A Delmarva and Luis Pujols at short-season Single-A Aberdeen.

Orland Gomez returns, but moves from Single-A Frederick to manage the rookie level Gulf Coast League. He replaces Matt Merullo, whose contract was not renewed. The new manager is Keith Bodie at Frederick, who was Bowie’s hitting coach in the 2015 season, his first in the Orioles organization.

“Keith Bodie is a really good baseball guy,” Graham said. “It fits the organization best to have Howie Clark be the Double-A hitting coach, Keith be the Single-A manager and Orlando go down to the Gulf Coast League. That is what is best for the organization. I feel like we have a really strong group of managers with good experience. I think having Bodie in Frederick is a huge plus for us.”

Before joining the O’s, Bodie spent 16 seasons with the Houston Astros organization including a three-year stint (2012-14) as manager of Double-A Corpus Christi. He has 33 years of experience in pro baseball and has worked for the Astros, Giants, Mariners, Royals, Nationals and Orioles.

What is your take?: Feel free to leave some comments here about the O’s minors. Also, please leave some on the Orioles big leaguers, as well. The conversation started here yesterday and can continue today. Which pitcher or pitchers should the Orioles pursue now? Is their lineup now better than it was last season with the Chris Davis re-signing? What does the team still need to do to be a contender in 2016?

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