Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter has named an Opening Day starter. And it’s going to be Dylan Bundy. Mind you that Opening Day is only one game. However it’s certainly an honor for Bundy, and one that’s well deserved.
Bundy said that it wasn’t something that he expected, however he’s looking forward to the opportunity (quote courtesy of Britt Ghiroli, mlb.com):
Obviously I’m honored and humbled by it. Very excited. Going to have to control the emotions a little bit and just pitch my game.
Bundy was by far the Birds’ most consistent starter last year, joining the rotation for the first time in his career. He finished the season at 13-9, with an ERA of 4.24. If you look at the spring numbers this year, they indicate that Bundy has struggled – as an example, he has an ERA of 9.00. But Showalter doesn’t pay too much attention to spring stats, and ultimately it’s an honor that Bundy earned.
Tim Beckham left yesterday’s 10-7 victory over Boston after tweaking his groin. Buck Showalter said after the game that it was in essence done as a precaution, however the hope is that Beckham returns before the Orioles even break camp. Which incidentally is Monday morning – following their Grapefruit League finale against Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon in Clearwater.
The Birds of course will stop in Norfolk to play the Tides in a non-Grapefruit League exhibition game on Monday afternoon, and head back to Baltimore after that. Even though you want to continue the momentum of the spring immediately into Opening Day, I think that the couple of days off that they’ll have before Thursday’s opener is a good thing. It allows guys to get settled at home before going back out onto the field. And yes folks, we’re under a week before the opener!