Baltimore Orioles' right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is making headway in his return from Tommy John. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com and Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun, Bundy threw his first 50-pitch bullpen session on Monday, with another yesterday.
Facing hitters for the first time in a year on Tuesday!!!— Dylan Bundy (@Dylan_Bundy) May 8, 2014
Bundy is expected to throw live batting practice on Tuesday, his first time throwing to live hitters since March 24th of last year. He will likely throw two live batting practice sessions before playing in his first simulated game, which could come within the next two weeks.
Bundy missed the entire 2013 season recovering from surgery which he had in June. Back in January, he stated that he plans on returning to the majors just 366 days after his surgery, on June 28th. While the exact date of Bundy's return is still up in the air (unless you're Bundy), he still should be a valuable addition to the Orioles at some point this summer. At 18-14, Baltimore currently owns a slim lead for the top spot in the AL East, but their pitching staff has faltered early, owning a 4.10 ERA and 4.31 FIP, which rank 20th and 29th in baseball, respectively.
Bundy was drafted fourth overall by the Orioles in the 2011 draft, and at the time was hailed as one of the best right-handed pitchers to come out of the high school ranks in quite awhile. Entering last season, Bundy was ranked as the second best prospect in baseball by Baseball America (behind only Jurickson Profar), and this year, he was still ranked 15th despite the injury.
The 21-year-old made his big league debut at the age of 19 in 2012, making two appearances out of the Orioles' bullpen in September. A healthy Bundy gives the Orioles one of the more impressive stockpiles of young arms in the game, with Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Bundy, Eduardo Rodriguez, and 2013 first round pick Hunter Harvey all under the age of 26, and of those five, only Tillman is older than 23.