Baltimore Orioles’ Kevin Gausman named Opening Day 2017 starter with Dylan Bundy getting the start for game two against the Toronto Blue Jays.
On Monday, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter declared Kevin Gausman as the Orioles Opening Day starter which takes place Monday, April 3 at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
After Gausman, the 24-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy, who pitched in the majors in 2016 for the first time since a brief cup of coffee as a 19-year-old in 2012, will start game two.
Bundy was out of options, and many wondered what the Orioles would do with the once top prospect who dealt with numerous injury issues.
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Bundy started the year in the bullpen before proving he was ready for a role in the rotation. In 36 games, he started 14 games. Bundy had a 4.02 ERA to go with a 10-6 record. He struck out 104 hitters and had a WHIP of 1.377.
All of this with Bundy not throwing his cutter, which some argue is his best pitch. However, the Orioles believed it might have contributed to his elbow issues, and had to retire the pitch for 2016.
Bundy has reintroduced it into his repertoire this spring.
For the Orioles, the future is now. With these two leading the rotation, they are expected to live up to being fourth overall draft picks (Bundy in 2011, Gausman in 2012).
If they both can be useful and become top of the rotation type pitchers, it puts a lot less pressure on Wade Miley, Ubaldo Jimenez and also Chris Tillman. Tillman is a guy who has done very well facing other team’s top starters. Now, he might not have that pressure, although it’s difficult to escape the superb starting pitching in the AL East.
For the Baltimore Orioles, it is always about the effectiveness of the starting rotation. This year will be no different. The success of Gausman and Bundy will help indicate if this team is playoff-caliber, or a World Series contender.
Only one more week until we start to find out.