The Baltimore Orioles' No. 1 pitching prospect, Dylan Bundy, had a scare this week when he was shut down temporarily with mild elbow tightness in his right limb. The tightness first surfaced after his final minor league spring start, and an MRI exam came back negative for any structural damage. Executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated that this injury isn't serious at all, but the team wants to be as cautious as possible since they are dealing with their most prized prospect.
Bundy was scheduled to begin the season as Double-A Bowie's ace, but this injury will likely push him back just a bit. Assuming he gets over this issue with no setbacks, Bundy has a bright future that could include more major league experience in 2013. The 20-year-old righty went a combined 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA and 119 K's in 103 2/3 innings last season between Single-A Delmarva, High-A Frederick and Bowie.
He has all the makings of a future staff ace and perennial Cy Young contender in his prime. He has three plus pitches right now - a fastball, curve and changeup - that are ready to get major league hitters out. Bundy didn't pitch as well as he'd hoped in spring camp, but expect him to continue dominating minor league sticks when he recovers from his elbow ailment. He'll likely be moved up to Triple-A Norfolk at some point this summer and is a good candidate for a late-season call-up to Baltimore. Mixed leaguers should be ready to pounce when he comes up, and expect him to be owned in all formats next season, when he should find a permanent spot in the O's rotation.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Alfredo Marte figured he wouldn't be on the team's opening day roster, and neither did fantasy baseball players. Well, he is, thanks to a serious injury to Adam Eaton (knee). Cody Ross (calf) also opened the year on the DL. Marte was initially optioned to Triple-A Reno back on March 15 but was brought back up to compete for the final roster spot with Tony Campana.
Marte made his major league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals last night, hitting sixth and starting in left field. Manager Kirk Gibson noted that the 24-year-old Marte made great strides this spring, where he hit three home runs and knocked in six runs in 47 Cactus League at-bats. The Dominican native was largely unknown until last season when he clubbed 20 dingers and drove in 75 RBIs in 398 at-bats with Double-A Mobile. The key for Marte was lowering his strikeout rate last season.
At only 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, though, he shouldn't be considered a power hitter at the next level, but he could continue to turn some heads if he improves more on his plate discipline. The D-backs' move to put him on their opening day roster was purely due to other injuries, so expect them to ship him back to the minors when Ross is healthy. Arizona probably would like to see the gains that Marte made last season transfer over to Triple-A Reno before they consider him a valuable fourth outfielder at the major league level.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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