Another look at Dylan Bundy’s 2019 season

For two straight years, right-hander Dylan Bundy has led all Orioles pitchers in starts, innings and strikeouts. He’s been dependable. He takes the ball and gives you all he’s got.

But Bundy is also 15-30 with an ERA of 5.13 and homer rate of 1.9 per every nine innings over those two seasons. We’ve certainly seen flashes of Bundy pitching well but there have also been some games when he gives a big number to the opponent.

In 2019, the 26-year-old went 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA over 161 2/3 innings. His WHIP was 1.355, his homer rate dropped from 2.1 the year before to 1.6. He allowed nine hits per nine with 3.2 walks and nine strikeouts.

The right-hander’s much discussed velocity has deceased by a small margin in recent years. According to his four-seamer averaged 92.5 mph in 2017, 92.1 mph in 2018 and 91.6 mph last season.

After Bundy’s four-seam fastball averaged a career-low 89.8 mph in a May 11 start versus the Los Angeles Angels, manager Brandon Hyde took him out after five innings and expressed some concern about his velocity. But any worry that Bundy was hurt would prove unfounded. In fact, in the starts before and after that outing versus the Angels, he allowed no earned runs over 13 innings. In May, the month where this concern began, Bundy went 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA.

Stated here many times by me, Bundy is 90-92 mph with his fastball. That is who he is now and he needs solid command and at least one or two of his secondaries to be going well to win.

Bundy-Bearded-Delivers-vs-TOR-White-Sidebar.jpgBundy this year became a pitcher, like many others around the sport these days, that throws his fastball and secondary pitches at about at 50-50 split. He threw 50 percent fastballs in 2019, down from 54 percent in 2017 and 56 percent in 2018.

After what turned out to be his last 2019 start on Sept. 24 at Toronto, Hyde sized up Bundy’s season.

“I thought (he got) a lot better after his initial starts,” the manager said. “He had some rough starts early and changed his pitch mix a little bit. Has gotten stronger as the year has gone on. He had kind of a tough time early in that fifth-, sixth-inning range. I just feel like he’s improved over the course of the year.

“He’s been really valuable for us in a lot of ways. We are lacking experience throughout our roster, and he’s been here for a for years now. He can help guys in certain ways, kind of get through this last month, especially. Dylan has been rock steady for us. I hope he takes what he improved on this year into next year.”

A few other notes on Bundy in 2019:

* He’s recorded at least 150 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons, becoming the first Oriole to strike out 150 or more batters in three straight seasons since Daniel Cabrera from 2005-2007.

* Bundy averaged 17.2 pitches per inning, the sixth-highest average in the American League and 11th-highest in the majors (minimum 160 innings). Last year, he averaged 16.6 pitches per inning.

* Bundy went 2-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 10 starts in August and September. He also reduced his homer rate to 0.92 per nine innings, allowing just six in 58 2/3 innings. In 13 starts after the All-Star break, Bundy surrendered nine home runs for a HR/9 of 1.15

* Batters cleaned up on Bundy on the first pitch of an at-bat hitting .508 (31-for-61) with seven doubles, seven homers and an OPS of 1.452.

* When he pitched with runners in scoring position, Bundy allowed a line of just .209/.283/.338.

* When he pitched on four days’ rest, Bundy went 1-7 with a 5.76 ERA. On five days’ rest ,he was 3-4 with a 3.52 ERA. He made 14 of his 30 starts with five days’ rest.

* The Orioles had a winning percentage of .333 for the year (54-108) and they had the same mark in Bundy’s starts, going 10-20. He had 10 quality starts, but the club went just 4-6 in those games.

Bundy has two more years before he can hit free agency at the end of the 2021 season. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft, he earned $2.8 million in 2019 and projects that his salary will swell to $5.7 million for next season.

So all these years later, long after that 2011 draft, how do O’s fans see Bundy now?

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