It’s Bundy time
Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy arrived in Seattle and got to the park at 1 p.m. Pacific Time, after hopping an early morning flight out of Sarasota. The 19-year-old Bundy –who will wear uniform No. 49 — has a corner locker in the Mariners’ visiting clubhouse and he was frequented by trips from teammates, coming over to congratulate him and welcome him. A lot of the current Orioles already know Bundy, who was with the team in Spring Training, and he’s also played with fellow rookie Manny Machado.
I’ll have full coverage up on Bundy on Orioles.com shortly, but here is what he had to say to the small contingent of us in Seattle.
[What was the call to your parents like?] “I called my mom and dad five times each and none of them answered. My pitching coach in high school actually answered at 4 in the morning first. He was the first to know. But my parents, I called them again about 5:30 and they answered. And they put it on speakerphone and I told my parents together. The next thing you know they are on a plane here.”
[When did you get the call?] “I got it at 3:45 a.m. My roommate, Joe Oliveira, answered the phone and told me it was Brian Graham and he told me I was on a plane at 7 a.m. and I was going to pitch here in Seattle. So I said, ‘Are you messing with me? And he said, ‘No, I’m not going to mess with you at 4 in the morning.’ So next thing I know I’m at the airport and on my way to Seattle.”
[on if this is surreal moment] “It didn’t get that way until I saw the archway at Safeco Field in the cab today. That’s really went it hit me I guess.”
[What are your thoughts on taking the big league mound for the first time?]“Just slow the game down. I know it is going to be quick out there for the first couple minutes or so, but just slow everything down and realize it’s the same game it was in Bowie. Just a little bit more people in the stands.”
[What was your reaction a few weeks ago when Buck Showalter said you likely wouldn’t be coming up?] “I was focused on going to instructional league anyway. Them actually saying in the media that I’m not getting called up, just made me want to work even harder to get there next year. And go down to instructional league and work on some timings to home plate and work on my curveball. And then, you know, not expecting it, I get a call.
[on being with the team in the spring helping the transition] “Yeah, definitely. I was a lot more nervous the first day of spring training than I was today coming into the locker room. Because I knew some of the guys a little bit on a personal level and the other guys I knew their names.
[Why do you think you can handle this?] “I have the confidence to. If you keep the ball down I’m not going to get hurt even if they do get a hit. You’ve just got to go back out there and focus and get the next guy. I have all the pitches I need to have. I’ve just got to throw them for strikes and get the guy out.”
[on adjusting to the bullpen given his infamous preparation, which includes 300-feet long toss]“I just thought about that about 30 minutes ago. Maybe I need to go play catch with [center fielder] Adam Jones in the fifth or sixth inning. [Laughs.] If I can do that, I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do, but I think the adrenaline, the stadium, the team, the big leagues, I think I’ll have enough energy to get going.”
[on it being easier to have top position prospect, 20-year-old Manny Machado here with him] “Definitely, me and him have known each other for two years, now…You know, him being the same age as me is pretty neat. Him being on the same team and being able to relate to what’s going on and what the process is going to be. How the game is going to be handled.”
“Two teenagers, well I’m a teenager, Machado is in his twenties now. That’s what I’m here to do is help the team win. And Machado is too.”
[on the reception from the other Oriole relievers] “It’s been great. Those guys have welcomed me pretty well, they all welcomed me. And congratulated me, shook my hand. I’m excited to throw, if I throw tonight.”
[on what happened] “About 3:45 a.m. [after the call], basically Brian Graham told me to meet him in the lobby at 5:15. I was down at the lobby at 415. I was ready to go. At the AmericInn [in Sarasota, Fla.]. Next thing you know I had to get back up to my room to get my phone charger. I had to go back up to it again to get my toiletry bag. I was definitely rushing a little bit to get going on that plane. Then we went to the field to get my baseball stuff.”
[is he always this forgetful?] “No, never. I’m sure I forgot some things, too.”
[on the curveball being the pitch he’s still working on] “Just [be] more consistent. It’s got good depth to it, but just be more consistent with it.”
[on if he has done away with the cutter, which the organization took away this season] “No, it’s not out of my repertoire. I’ve always had it. I’ve thrown it in bullpens. Ever since spring training I’ve kept it in my back pocket. I still have a feel for it. If it comes to that time and I feel like I can throw it for a strike, I’m gonna.”
[Bundy was told that John Smoltz said on MLB Network to go pretend like he’s pitching in a Double-A game]
“That’s good advice. That’s all it is is 60 feet, six inches. Same at Double-A Bowie.”