Bundy could skip Triple-A on road to bigs

Manager Showalter hopes to have idea of what O's top prospect could bring by June

Bundy could skip Triple-A on road to bigs

BALTIMORE -- Is it mandatory that top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy pitch in Triple-A before arriving in Baltimore? No.

But what the Orioles are really looking for in Bundy, who is in his first full season back from 2013's Tommy John surgery, is for the right-hander to make himself an option in the coming months.

"First of all, he's got to do well enough there [in Double-A]," manager Buck Showalter said. "No, he doesn't have to pitch at Triple-A for us to feel good about him. It's a process for him, little by little. I think June, middle of June we'll get an idea of what we've got."

Bundy has been brought along with caution and hasn't gone longer than three innings in a start this year, though Showalter said the plan is for him to get up to five at Bowie. So far, Bundy has pitched 18 innings and allowed nine earned runs -- five of which came in his last start -- with 20 strikeouts and five walks.

"They've got a target going by a lot of homework and history with Tommy John and the whole nine yards. I hope that we're talking about whether we want to call him up in September," Showalter said.

Bundy will be out of options next spring, meaning he must be on the Major League roster or risk being lost on waivers, so it would obviously benefit the O's to get a look at him later this season. Whether that's as a starter or reliever is yet to be decided.

"Or neither. Or go home," Showalter said of the Orioles' options with Bundy in the season's final month. "I'm hoping in September we bring people up here that can try and get us in the playoffs."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.