Showalter won't rule out Bundy starting in '16

Out of options, righty will begin season in O's bullpen

Showalter won't rule out Bundy starting in '16

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Should Dylan Bundy pitch well out of the bullpen in 2016, the Orioles aren't ruling out having the right-hander start games later in the season.

"We were talking about it today that who knows, it could be something we look at at some point," manager Buck Showalter said of Bundy. "It's right to hope that he could get back to that.

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"You never know. I'm just throwing every possibility out there. You don't want to get ahead of yourself and forget where you come from. Sometimes you need to be happy where you are and with what you've got instead of trying to keep pushing it. I'm saying it's probably not going to happen, but I'm not going to say for sure."

Bundy, who is out of Minor League options, will be part of the O's bullpen on Opening Day. The right-hander, who has been plagued by injuries the past several years, is the organization's No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com -- behind right-hander Hunter Harvey -- and has been impressive this spring, accumulating a 3.24 ERA through 8 1/3 innings.

"It's one of those things that if you told me we'd be where we are with him right now, not that I'd be surprised, I'd be real happy with it," Showalter said. "You can tell everything with him. I was kidding with him today down in the bullpen. I said: 'You're in a perfect ambush situation now.' He said: 'What do you mean?' I said: 'An umpire came up to me yesterday, to [pitching coach Dave Wallace], and said, 'This guy is really good. Who's this guy?' [I told him], 'You're back in the they don't know who you are [mode].'"

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The thought this spring was that Bundy, if all went well in 2016, could be an option for the rotation in 2017.

"Or September," Showalter said. "Or August. Or July. We're trying to win here, right? Let's go one step at a time with him."

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.