The hard luck run for Orioles pitching prospects continues. After throwing a grand total of 26 pitches across two one-inning outings in the Arizona Fall League, Dylan Bundy has been shut down. He had been scheduled to pitch today. Now, thanks to what one O's reporter termed "elbow stiffness" and another called "tightness in his right forearm,"Bundy is scratched for today and probably for the remaining two weeks of the AFL.
It's worrisome any time you hear about problems in that area of the arm, because that conjures up the notion that Tommy John surgery could be in the near future. Bundy only just had that surgery in 2013 and, due to missing most of this season as a result of calcification in his shoulder, really hasn't put that many miles on his "second" arm. In that sense, something so major would be a big surprise.
The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina tweets that "everything appears to be structurally sound." So that's always good news. Then again, every team tries to act like things aren't a big deal until they can't avoid publicly acknowledging problems.
Even if it is just a minor issue that clears up in a month, the bigger problem for Bundy and the Orioles is that his time in the AFL was supposed to be a little tune-up, since he did not get to do much throwing this season. Now he's been deprived of the chance to even get a month's worth of one-inning outings before heading into the offseason. That can't be helpful as he tries to return to some kind of regular form.
As a result of the contract Bundy signed after being drafted in the first round in 2011, the Orioles must have him on their major league roster or disabled list next season or risk exposing him to another team on waivers. It'll be like having another Rule 5 draft pick in the bullpen, although at least this time we'll know full well why the Orioles were interested in the first place and why they continue to keep him around.
If Bundy doesn't pitch again in the AFL, it'll be some months before we're likely to get any public update about him, possibly as late as the beginning of spring training. There's nothing left to do except for hope for the best.