O’Day recalls some early Bundy ‘mentoring’
Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy mentioned on Friday that —should he make the team’s Opening Day roster in the bullpen— he’ll rely on some veteran help to mentor him.
Bundy’s first taste of being mentored, back in September 2012 when he made his debut, was pretty memorable to setup man Darren O’Day.
“The phone rang and Billy Castro was the bullpen coach at the time and he said, ‘Bundy it’s for you!’’ And [Bundy is] wearing his sunglasses at the time and he jumps up and goes, ‘What do I do?’ [We said] ‘You warm up.’ He jumps up on the mound, and I was like ‘Take you sunglasses off, too,’” O’Day said, laughing. “We got some work to do.”
“We will help him out for sure. He’s obviously talented. I still remember the first bullpen I saw him throw. The quality and consistency of four pitches was incredible to stand behind and watch for a kid that young. He’s had a tough couple years with injuries and that can be frustrating for anybody, you get down on yourself so I think he’s got a time here where he’s got to show what he can do and we will help him as much as we can.”
If healthy, Bundy — who is out of Minor League options— is projected to head north with the team, which means the rookie will likely be the designated guy carrying all the relief corps snacks out to the bullpen.
“He’ll look great. I was in the airport the other day and they had some really nice Hello Kitty bags,” O’Day said. “So if Bundy, is the guy with the bags, we might have to make it more pink.”
O’Day also talked a little bit about staying with the Orioles and was asked if he would have believed someone if they said that Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and himself would all be back in 2016.
“Frankly, no. I’d be surprised,” he said. “There’s quality players and quality men. There’s a lot to like about this team and the players they’ve assembled, so it is surprising a little bit, but obviously it’s a really nice pleasant surprise. Personally, I couldn’t be happier to be back, and I hope I speak for the other guys.”
“There are a few different ways to improve as an organization, as a team, to commit to winning. Whether it be through the draft or through trades or through signing free agents. So I think they showed a commitment to winning, really, to putting a good team on the field by signing some of these guys who were pretty expensive. It’s really challenging to build a team on a low-dollar budget to win games, so to play at this level, you’ve got to spend some money. Our team did. They’re always pretty creative with these late-season signings. We had some pretty good ones a couple years ago, so we’ll see if they can pull some magic again.”
The Orioles are once again predicted to finish last in a lot of projections and it doesn’t seem to bother them.
“Yeah, you know, it’s motivation. As a logical person, I understand that. I think it’s going to be the most competitive league in baseball, and to play these other heavyweight teams, what is it 19 times? It’s tough. Somebody’s got to finish fourth or fifth. I don’t think it’s going to be us. But they’ve got to pick somebody. And if you look at rosters and think you know everything maybe you pick some other teams. But I would never count us out, I think we’ve shown that over the past four years that we play kind of a different brand of baseball that you cant quantify. Maybe steal some wins. But it’s going to be a good year in the AL East.”