If you've been holding your breath waiting for Dylan Bundy's return to the Orioles, you're probably already dead. That wasn't a great idea. If you're holding your breath right now, you should probably stop, because Bundy is not coming back any time soon. In his pre-game remarks to O's reporters on Monday, Buck Showalter said that Bundy continues to be shut down from throwing. Bundy could be done for the season, as there are no plans on when to get him back onto the mound at present.
It's worth remembering that the problem currently ailing Bundy has nothing to do with his throwing elbow, on which he had Tommy John surgery about two years ago. That's encouraging, except the problem he has right now is with his throwing shoulder. Those are even worse! Bundy has been dealing with tendinitis and inflammation in the shoulder. He last pitched for Double-A Bowie on May 21. For over a month to have gone by and there's still no sign of when he'll throw again, well... that kind of sucks.
The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly spoke to Bundy about what's happening to his shoulder:
Dylan Bundy saw dr. Andrews today and there is calcification in the right shoulder causing soreness. Cant throw again until soreness is gone— Dan Connolly (@danconnollysun) June 29, 2015
Any time you have your pitcher mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. James Andrews, that's not a good sign. I don't think I'd want calcification in my shoulder either. There is hope that, with rest, this problem will go away. Whether that ends up happening is another story. Unfortunately for both Bundy and the O's, the best case scenario for his health has not tended to be the scenario that we get.
Bundy potentially losing the rest of the season is a problem for the Orioles because Bundy, who signed a major league contract after he was drafted in the first round in 2011, is playing on his final minor league option this year. That means that come Opening Day 2016, Bundy either needs to be on the active roster or disabled list or else be exposed to waivers.
At the time, giving Bundy such a contract seemed like a fine idea since he was supposed to be advanced for a high school pitcher, and he was, which is why the O's gave him a cup of coffee in the big leagues in September 2012. Between his elbow injury and now this shoulder problem, he hasn't been back since.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement currently in force no longer allows new draftees to sign major league contracts. Bundy will be one of the last to present a problem like this to a team. That's little comfort to the Orioles as they try to figure out what to do with him over the coming months.