Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy Leads The Way In May
The month of May wasn’t pretty for the Baltimore Orioles, but there were a few positives worth noting.
Another month is in the books and we’re another day closer to the Baltimore Orioles adding a franchise-changing prospect to the farm system with the number one overall pick in Monday’s MLB draft. I’m riding high on positive feelings ahead of this year’s draft, so let’s look back at the month of May through a positive lens.
The Orioles went 8-19 in May, the same record they posted in the month of April, giving them an overall record of 18-39. While the record didn’t change from month to month, the number of runs scored against Orioles’ pitching did. After allowing 6.4 runs per game in April, Baltimore allowed 5.7 runs per game in May. Unfortunately, the offense proved unable to help.
But we aren’t focusing on the negatives here, only the positives. Who were the most pleasant surprises in May for the Orioles? Let’s start with a starting pitcher.
Dylan Bundy turned things around last month for the Baltimore Orioles.
The month of April was a disaster for the former first-round pick of the Orioles. In five starts, Bundy went 0-4 with a 6.57 ERA in 24.2 innings. Hitters blasted nine home runs of the righty, reached base at an astronomical clip, and questions surrounding his health popped up after a significant decrease in his fastball velocity.
No one on this roster had a better turnaround in the month of May than Dylan Bundy. Making another five starts, Bundy went 30.2 innings, averaging six innings per start. He averaged less than five innings per start in April.
He went 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Most impressively, Bundy allowed just four home runs. Hitters actually struggled to make solid contact against the veteran. His hard-hit allowed rate dropped from 32% to 21.6%, his groundball rate jumped from 29% to 44%, and hitters managed just a .195 average and .254 OBP. Dylan Bundy was good.
In a month where major league hitters set the record for most home runs hit in a single month (1,135), Bundy didn’t significantly add to that total. What changed?
Well, he didn’t use his fastball as much, dropping his usage from 50.4% to 42.5%. Hitters still made good contact against the 90 mph pitch, but it became more effective thanks to increased use in offspeed pitches, which were very good. He used the slider more, producing a 51% whiff rate, a .067 batting average, and .059 wOBA.
According to Brooks Baseball, Bundy lowered his release point in May and started producing more horizontal movement with his pitches, especially his fastball. Hopefully, these adjustments continue to produce positive results for Bundy. The Orioles need him to produce, whether it’s to improve his trade stock or to become a more reliable backend option for the future is up in the air.
His next start is scheduled to come next week against the Texas Rangers, on the road.