Will the Real Dylan Bundy Please Stand Up? 

Going into the offseason, the Angels’ priority was to improve their starting rotation. When the Angels sensed they were going to miss out on top free agents Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Zack Wheeler, they turned the locked up third baseman Anthony Rendon.

The week before the Winter Meetings, the Angels acquired right-hander Dylan Bundy from Baltimore in exchange for four minor-league pitchers.  

The once-top prospect never quite lived up to the expectation in Baltimore but the Angels are counting on a change of scenario and connection with the Angels’ new pitching coach, Mickey Callaway, to take Bundy’s performance to the next level. Bundy’s early Cactus League outings and performance certainly gave the Angels a lot of optimism before the coronavirus suspended play two weeks ago.  

Bundy’s first four starts with the Angels in Arizona resulted in 16 strikeouts across 11.1 innings pitched in which he only allowed four hits and walked only a single batter. While statistics in spring training are rarely strong indicators of regular season production, Bundy’s 1.59 ERA this spring was much improved from his seven-plus ERA in his previous three springs for the Orioles. The 27-year-old Bundy should be ready to be featured near the top of the Angels’ rotation once the regular season resumes this summer. 

Bundy, like former Orioles prospect Jake Arrieta, is looking to blossom in his new uniform and could be one of the breakout performers in 2020. Arrieta was also 27 when he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs and went on to be one of the premier pitchers in the game for the next three seasons. Assuming Bundy is primed for a breakout season, his presence at the top of a rotation would help Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, and veteran Julio Teheran with the burden of leading this Angels staff into the post-season. 

Once the players get the all-clear to return to the field, baseball fans will get to see if Bundy will become the pitcher the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft was expected to become one day. Will Bundy be the next Jake Arrieta or just an Orioles cast-off in the likeness of Erik Bedard? 

Angels This Week 

On Wednesday, the Angels optioned pitchers Ryan Buchter and Luke Bard, outfielder Michael Hermosillo, and infielder/pitcher Jared Walsh to Triple-A Salt Lake. Pitcher Taylor Cole was also outrighted to Salt Lake. Buchter had just been added to Angels’ active roster earlier in the week. Many rumors suggest expanded rosters could benefit Buchter’s chances of still making the Opening Day roster. 

The Angels signed catcher Francisco Arcia to a minor-league contract, reuniting the former Angels legend with the organization. Following 12 minor league seasons, Arcia made his MLB debut with the Angels on July 26, 2018, hitting a three-run home run for his first MLB hit in his debut. Arcia became the first MLB player to record 10 runs batted in during their first two games. He spent last season in the minor leagues between the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. 

During a media session, general manager Billy Eppler mentioned that Griffin Canning may begin throwing as soon as this week. Canning has been resting his right arm after MRI results detected wear on his elbow joint. Canning was expected to be top four starter in the Angels’ starting rotation if healthy. The Angels are hopeful the delayed start to the season could still provide opportunity for Canning to pitch early in the season. 

Angels Down on the Farm 

Here is the Angels’ Top 10 Prospects List quarterly update from April 1. Jo Adell still tops the list. 

  1. Jo Adell 
  2. Brandon Marsh 
  3. Jordyn Adams 
  4. Jeremiah Jackson 
  5. Kyren Paris 
  6. Hector Yan 
  7. Aaron Hernandez 
  8. Jahmai Jones 
  9. D’Shawn Knowles 
  10. Arol Vera 

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