Showalter says Bundy will play instrux and not be a Sept. callup

Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will head to instructional league when his season for Double-A Bowie ends, manager Buck Showalter announced prior to Wednesday’s game. The news effectively eliminates increased speculation that the 19-year-old Bundy would be a September callup as part of Baltimore’s playoff push.

Bundy pitched 5 1/3 innings Tuesday night, allowing a pair of runs and walking four, and the organization doesn’t feel he’s ready right now. Since being promoted to Bowie, Bundy –in his first professional season — is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA over 16 2/3 innings, allowing 14 hits (three homers), three hit batsmen and eight walks against 19 strikeouts.

“Instructional league starts on the 12th [of September],” Showalter said of Bundy’s future. “What did he walk four guys last night? There’s some things, he’s at a level where he’s been challenged with, just like he got challenged more in [High-A] Frederick. He had some outings that weren’t [good]… I think the progression of his development has been great. Couldn’t ask for a better progression.”

The organization’s top pitching prospect –and one of baseball’s best up-and-coming arms — Bundy didn’t allow an earned run in 30 innings of Low A ball, then had a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts in Frederick before being promoted to Bowie. The organization has monitored his innings all season, initially wanting to keep him in the 125-130 range, although there’s indications he could go beyond that marker in instrux. Bundy has throw 103 2/3 innings so far.

Asked if the organization could call up Bundy in September just to expose him to the atmosphere, Showalter said in a perfect world, perhaps.

“Legally there’s some other things that happen if you do that,” he said. “Frankly what you got to ask yourself is does he have a chance to be on your club to start the season next year? And that kind of effects the way you look at it. Right now I want him to pitch his butt off and help Bowie win an Eastern League Championship. That’s where I want his mindset.  And then when that’s over, look forward to working on some weaknesses down in instructional league with some very good instructors.”

The Orioles could still callup player from Bowie, with right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter the most logical candidate. Prospect Mike Wright, who the organization selected in the third round of last year’s Draft, is also turning some heads.

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