Orioles introduce Dylan Bundy to Baltimore
First-round pick says he hopes to pitch in big leauges 'as quickly as I can'
2011 stats (high school): 11-0, 0.20 ERA in 71 innings. 20 hits and two earned runs allowed. (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam / August 31, 2011)
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Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 W Camden St, Baltimore, MD 21201-2496, United States
Bundy, who agreed to a guaranteed $6.25 million major league contract on Aug. 15, said he is excited to get back on the mound after spending most of the summer in a holding pattern as he and his agent negotiated with the Orioles.
"That's what happens with the draft. Most top-10 first-rounders usually have to wait," said the highly touted power pitcher from Oklahoma. "Of course, I wanted to get out there June 7 and pitch and work towards my dream. Unfortunately, that's how it goes."
One of the major sticking points for Bundy and his family in contact negotiations was that he got a major league contract so he could be added to the 40-man roster right away. As he adorned an Orioles cap and home jersey for the first time at Camden Yards, the fourth overall pick said that he plans on getting to the big leagues "as quickly as I can."
"That's my goal and that's Baltimore's goal," said Bundy, who got a $4 million signing bonus. "I'd like to be there within one year, two years, whatever. I just want to be there when I am ready."
And when he is, Bundy expects his older brother, Bobby, who is currently pitching in Double-A Bowie, to join him at Camden Yards. "I'm 100 percent sure that we are going to get pitch on the same roster together and I can't wait to do that," he said.
Bundy will fly to the team's minor league facility in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday to prepare for instructional league this fall. Orioles director of scouting Joe Jordan said the team doesn't know what the next step will be after that, but he expects Bundy to move through the minor league system quicker than most high school draft picks.
"You can't hurry up anything," Jordan said. "He wants to be there when he is ready and that's really what we want — when he is ready. He is on our 40-man roster, so it's about getting started and getting ready and turning him loose."
As Bundy said at the start of Wednesday's news conference, "Let's go."
Doing the roster shuffle
After trading left-hander Michael Gonzalez to Texas on Wednesday, the team called up reliever Zach Phillips — who was acquired from the Rangers for infielder Nick Green in July — from Triple-A Norfolk to take his place.
"It's his first time in the big leagues. I'm sure there will be some angst early on," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Phillips, a 24-year-old lefty. "[I've] got some good reports [on him]. I haven't seen him pitch ever."
The Orioles also added reliever Mark Hendrickson to the 40-man roster and removed relievers Mike Ballard and Mitch Atkins from the 40-man roster.
As of Wednesday night, the Orioles had two open spots on the 40-man roster. Right-hander Rick VandenHurk is expected to take one of those spots Thursday, the day Major League Baseball active rosters expand to 40 players. Right-hander Jeremy Accardo is likely to claim the other.
Norfolk Tides outfielder Kyle Hudson is also a call-up candidate, but the Orioles would have to make an additional 40-man roster move to promote him.
Orioles on the mend
Showalter provided updates on injured infielders Chris Davis, Cesar Izturis and Brian Roberts, and reliever Jason Berken. Their health statuses could impact future call-ups.
Davis (shoulder) played long toss, fielded ground balls and participated in batting practice. He will take Thursday off and resume workouts Friday and Saturday. If all goes as planned, he will start a rehabilitation assignment on Sunday or Monday.
Izturis (groin) experienced mild discomfort in his workout, but Showalter said the team doesn't plan to shut him down for the season. Likewise for Roberts (concussion), who played long toss and did conditioning work without any problems. Berken (strained forearm) will fly to the team's minor-league complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday and should be able to pitch in a game Sept. 8, whether it's in Baltimore or elsewhere.
Catcher Matt Wieters experienced what Showalter called "a little quad discomfort" during Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays and was held out of the lineup Wednesday for precautionary measures.
Around the horn
Bundy was introduced to the Camden Yards crowd before the bottom of the second inning. … With the Gonzalez trade, four 2010 Orioles relievers are currently on first-place teams: Gonzalez and Koji Uehara (Texas), Matt Albers (Boston) and David Hernandez (Arizona). … Former Oriole Miguel Tejada was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. He hit .239 with a .596 on-base-plus slugging percentage in 343 plate appearances. … Mark Reynolds' 31 homers are the most for an Oriole since Aubrey Huff's 32 in 2008. Heading into Wednesday, only St. Louis' Albert Pujols has homered more than Reynolds since the start of the 2009 season.