TORONTO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter today took the occasion of the baseball draft to defend his team’s farm system. As teams all around the majors are looking to add players in the draft right now to one day help their big league team, Showalter feels the O’s system has been productive for the big league team, a team that leads the American League with 391 wins since 2012.
“I look at last night and I do think about this,” Showalter said. “We’ve got two rookie pitchers - Tyler Wilson and Dylan Bundy - who basically hadn’t pitched out of Double-A, playing key roles in the game last night. We have 10 or 11 guys playing key roles from our system. Okay.
“When these people talk about prospects and trying to rate farm systems, take these players ranked No. 1 and take 10 or 11 out of their systems, put them in the big leagues and see where they would be ranked. I chuckle when some people try to rate organizational stuff and they really don’t know what they are talking about. Some people actually believe it.
“That is what I take out of last night. Watching two rookie pitchers compete in the American League East and win a one-run game on the road because of it. Plus our closer is homegrown too. That is who we are and that is how we have to do it and that is why the draft is so important to us.”
Bundy had allowed 10 runs over his previous 10 1/3 innings before pitching 2 1/3 innings scoreless last night. Was that outing big for Bundy?
“Not necessarily,” Showalter said. “He’s had good outings here already. He feels healthy and he’s helping us compete. We are hopefully going to get 60 to 75 innings out of him and be ready to go next year. The big thing we have to decide is if and when about adding his slider/cutter back. That may be next spring.”
On other topics, Showalter provided the latest on J.J. Hardy, out with a fractured left foot.
“Every day he is getting a little closer. He’s hitting in the cage and taking groundballs. There is certain soreness with not using a muscle for a long time. It always comes back (the injury report), no major complaints. Just not full strength with the muscles around it yet.”
Reliever Darren O’Day has been on the disabled list for one week as of today with a right hamstring strain. It is still too soon for any timetable on his return. He is not yet cleared for baseball activities. O’Day got a platelet-rich plasma injection to promote healing in the hamstring.
“We are still not quite over the discomfort from the shot,” Showalter said. “That is always a painful thing and he has just about gotten through the soreness from the injection. Once that happens, we’ll kind of have an idea what we are dealing with.”