Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy done for year after elbow surgery
BALTIMORE -- Dylan Bundy's frustrating season ended before it started.
The Orioles pitching prospect will have elbow ligament-replacement surgery on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. The procedure will end a frustrating season in which the right-hander never threw in a game.
"Hopefully, next year this time we'll be putting a date on when he's going to be pitching again in a game," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday.
Selected fourth overall in the 2011 amateur draft, Bundy made it to the big leagues with Baltimore last season and was expected to contribute again this year. But he developed arm soreness during spring training.
The 20-year-old received treatment in April. When he resumed throwing, Bundy felt pain in his elbow and again was shut down.
After being examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens and Dr. James Andrews, it was determined that Bundy needed Tommy John surgery.
"Dr. Andrews and Dr. Wilckens have been on the same page about everything," Showalter said. "We tried to see if we could keep from going down this direction, but when he had the setback throwing from a certain number of feet, I think they felt like there was some distress there."
At that point, surgery appeared to be the best option.
"The thinking was that Dylan is 20 years old, he's very young and it's early in his career," said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. "After giving it two times of significant rest and the elbow not responding and being capable of handling the workload required, the doctors and Dylan decided this was the best course. We certainly support it."
The Orioles have no regret over treating the injury with medication and long stretches of inactivity.
"I think it's always best to try the conservative approach and to try rest and recuperation," Duquette said. "In Dylan's case, he gave it two chances to rest and recover. He's also very young, so he has time to be able to come back and pitch effectively."
The sooner Bundy gets the operation, the sooner he can begin the extensive rehabilitation program.
"Dylan is ready to go," Showalter said. "You think about everything he's been through with this; he just wants to get it done and to be able to pitch without discomfort. This is probably kind of new to him. You try to keep it from happening, but in a lot of cases it's preordained. So you take the precautions you need to take, and hopefully it doesn't happen."
And at least now Bundy and the Orioles understand why he had pain when he threw.
"I think there's some peace where that's concerned. We've got this behind us, we know what it is, it's nothing that he's doing wrong or something he's got to do differently. It's just something that happens, and we're going to fix it."
Bundy has pitched in 23 games as a professional, including two with Baltimore in 2012.
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