The Orioles make their first visit of the season to Yankee Stadium (in July – how is that even possible?) tonight, currently holding onto a two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
Kevin Gausman will look to win his first road game of the year and hopefully start to find more consistency over the next two and a half months of the season. The Yankees are close to deciding to blow it up and call it a season and this series would go a long way in determining their fate for the remainder of 2016.
Bundy Gets Mixed Results in First MLB Start
We can debate all day whether Dylan Bundy relied too much on the fastball early in the game and why he is throwing a hittable pitch to Brad Miller when he’s up 0-2 in the count, but the bigger storyline to come out of the game was the willingness to let the youngster throw 70 pitches. If Bundy was more efficient – after throwing 10 pitches in the first inning it appeared he would be – the right-hander probably would have been allowed to throw five innings.
We’ll find out later if he will be given another opportunity to start in five days and if he is, the original plan of limiting to him around 70 innings has probably been thrown out the window. As Buck Showalter has said, there’s no exact science to how to handle this and as long as Bundy feels healthy, I think the organization will continue to let him pitch.
I’m sure there will be a time when Bundy has to be shut down. It will probably occur in September, which means no poststeason for the righty, but as I mentioned in my latest Word on the Street, the team has to get to playoffs first.
The O’s have been forced into this situation due to the ineffectiveness of the rest of the rotation. After the recent trade by the Boston Red Sox to acquire Drew Pomeranz, it will be extremely difficult for the Orioles to pull off a trade to get an arm that will make a huge impact in the rotation. Showalter will have to do his best managing over the second half to keep this lead in the division as it appears the team will have to hold on with the players they already have in the organization.
Hart Latest Lefty Contestant in the Bullpen
25-year-old Donnie Hart made his Major League debut in the series finale against the Rays and accomplished what many of the other lefties have been unable to this season: retire both left-handed hitters he faced.
It’s officially Hart’s job to lose and we’ll see over the next couple of weeks prior to the deadline if he can continue to get left-handers out. Next to starting pitching, this is the Orioles biggest need and the team is hopeful that they don’t have to trade another minor leaguer to fill that void.
If Darren O’Day can return in the next week and Hart continues to be effective in his role, the bullpen will be set up perfectly for Showalter for the rest of the season.
Harvey Dealing With Forearm Injury…Again
By my count, this is the fourth time in Hunter Harvey’s pro career that he has dealt with a forearm injury. We’ll find out what the latest MRI says about the ligament, but it would be a surprise if the team doesn’t go the surgery route this time. Rehab and rest has not worked, so there’s only one other way to fix this and that is Tommy John Surgery. Unfortunately, that would mean we are talking this time next year about Harvey making it back on to the mound which would make it close to three years since he was completely healthy.
This is why pitching is so coveted and those who find a way to stay injury-free are extremely valuable to an organization. Here’s to Harvey eventually finding a way to finally put all of these injuries behind him so he can get back to becoming the pitcher many envisioned when he was drafted in the first round in 2013.