Bundy welcomes cutter back to repertoire

Right-hander had relied on three-pitch mix in 2016 for health reasons

Bundy welcomes cutter back to repertoire

BALTIMORE -- Dylan Bundy is looking forward to a lot of things in 2017, including being a starter the whole season, having his rookie year behind him and potentially having a four-pitch mix again.

Bundy, who shelved his cutter for health reasons all of last season -- he thought it may have been the culprit for his forearm issues during his 2015 Arizona Fall league stint -- has been reincorporating the pitch into his arsenal.

"I've been throwing it for about two weeks now," said Bundy, who had always planned to add the cutter back in at some point. "So far, it feels great. I'm not throwing it at full speed or anything right now. It's going good, and I'll bring it into spring, but I'm going to try to limit it, calm it down and not throw it every single 0-2 pitch."

Bundy, who pitched with his fastball, curveball and changeup last season, knows the cutter won't be a cure-all for a successful sophomore season. There are still adjustments to be made, particularly when going through a lineup the third or fourth time.

Bundy's solid outing

"It's command, it's sequencing, it's pitch location and having consistency every single start, with just three pitches," he said. "The fourth one, yeah it will help, but I don't think I need it [to be successful]."

Bundy, who started last season in the bullpen to keep his arm healthy and innings in check, pitched 109 2/3 innings in 2016. Combined with his time as a starter, he went 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA in his rookie season and he's slated to pitch from the rotation for all of '17. Bundy's progression will be key for the Orioles' rotation, and he said he's excited for the added workload and is hoping to use what he learned in his first year to be more consistent.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. 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.