After the trade for Wade Miley I said on Twitter that I liked the trade, and I would like it even better if it meant Dylan Bundy would go back to the bullpen. Taking Bundy out of the rotation is a fairly unpopular opinion (even more so after his performance against Texas on Tuesday night) but I stand by it. If I was REAL Buck and not Fake Buck my starting five would be:
Is Bundy better than some of the guys on that list? Yup. I don’t think it is a stretch to say he and Tillman are neck and neck for being considered our top starter (Tillman gets the nod from me if for no other reason than longevity and track record) and you would be hard pressed to argue Bundy hasn’t already passed the rest of the list, including Gausman, but even with all that I would take Bundy out of the rotation before I pull anyone else. Why? Bundy’s injury history.
Dylan Bundy pitched a total of 65.1 innings in 2014 & 2015, and 0 in 2013.
Stats above courtesy of http://www.baseball-reference.com
I can’t tell you how many fans I heard who were ready to give up on him and who lamented not trading him for a bag of baseballs when we had a chance. This year has shut those people up (and made them a good bit more patient over the Hunter Harvey saga) but the hesitation remains. Remember Stephen Strasburg in 2012, when instead of pacing him the Nationals blew through his innings limit and wound up having to bench him for the playoffs. Strasburg was coming off ONE injury (and one that seems to be a rite of passage for pitchers lately), while Bundy is coming off of multiple injuries over multiple years. He was put on an innings limit going into the season, and while I can see allowing some wriggle room, after watching Dylan Bundy over the last few starts I’d rather have him in September and October than August.
If I was more than a fake Twitter manager of this team, I would pull Bundy from the rotation and designate him as the guy that follows Worley every 5th day. Let him get a few innings since most likely Worley isn’t going more than 5 in most starts, give him a little extra work in his side sessions, and if we are still in the playoff chase in September swap Worley & Bundy and let Dylan stretch back out over a few starts. It didn’t take long for him to get from being gassed after 4 innings in his 1st start to going 7 strong and it wouldn’t take him long to get back there again. And if you pump the brakes on him now than we can look at Tillman, Bundy, and Gallardo/Miley starting in the postseason. With our bats and our bullpen I like our chances with that. Don’t forget, the Orioles have been killing it at home this year and the AL has home field advantage in the World Series…