Dylan Bundy is expected to see team orthopedist John Wilckens on Tuesday after experiencing more discomfort in his right forearm following a throwing session of 120 feet Monday in Sarasota.
A team source said it is expected that Bundy will ask to see Dr. James Andrews, who administered the platelet-rich-plasma injection in the prized prospect’s arm in late April.
It’s premature to panic. But if you want to worry some, go right ahead. No one’s judging you. Because this isn’t good news. At the very least, Bundy’s going to have to pull back on his rehab. There’s always a possibility of a second injection – Zach Britton needed two in his left shoulder last year before things felt dramatically better – and that would put much of Bundy’s season in jeopardy. He hasn’t pitched in a game since spring training.
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But that’s only part of the concern, because forearm discomfort is often a precursor to (or indicator of) elbow problems. And when Dr. Andrews name is involved, baseball types (and fans) always hold their collective breath hoping not to hear the word “surgery.”
Now, before you get too worried, remember that Bundy had an X-ray on his elbow earlier this year and it came back clean. And he hasn’t done much but throw long toss since then. So there is optimism that this is still a forearm situation that has to be cleared up before he can continue on his path back to the majors. And the Orioles, understandably so, are going to be very cautious with their former top pick.
Bottom line: Unless this setback is really minor, it would be a surprise to see the 20-year-old pitch for the Orioles in 2013.
Britton threw well for five innings Monday before allowing five consecutive runners to reach base to start the sixth. He went from potential winner to picking up a loss that quickly. He went from a possible quality start to another performance from the rotation that put pressure on the bullpen.
Still, there’s little doubt that he’ll make his next scheduled start this weekend against the New York Yankees. And, really, that became clear before Britton took the mound Monday, when the Orioles optioned Freddy Garcia to Norfolk.
While the club figures that out, it definitely doesn’t want to create another opening Saturday. So Britton should be safe.
Matt Wieters, who had been in an 0-for-13 slump and had seen his batting average dip to .229, was dropped to the seventh spot in the batting order for just the second time this season. He responded by homering and picking up a walk in four plate appearances. He’s now 5-for-8 with three doubles and a homer batting seventh.
Coincidence? Probably. But I could see him hitting seventh – with J.J. Hardy batting sixth – for a little while. Once manager Buck Showalter makes a decision like that, he usually sticks with it when possible.
By the way, earlier on Monday, Showalter asked the media about whether Hunter Harvey, the high school right-hander whom the Orioles selected in the first round earlier this month, was officially signed. When he was told that Harvey was getting his physical Monday, Showalter joked that maybe Harvey would be the club’s starter on Friday.
Yes, he was just kidding.
It’s expected that Harvey and supplemental first rounder Josh Hart, a prep outfielder from Georgia, will be introduced to the media and the Orioles’ crowd on Tuesday -- assuming all went well with their physicals on Monday.