The St. Louis Cardinals might be set on their rotation, but they might still be looking for insurance. Could they be in on Dylan Bundy?
I may have gone on record predicting that the St. Louis Cardinals rotation is set for 2020, but that doesn’t mean I’m right. Nor does it mean that I can’t explore the validity of other options the team may have for the starting rotation in 2020.
As it seems like the hot stove is heating up earlier than we have seen in the last two or three years, there is a rumor going around that the Orioles may be close to moving starting pitcher, Dylan Bundy.
Could the Cardinals be the team interested?
Dylan Bundy had a bit of a weird start to his career as he debuted in 2012 as a 19-year-old, then wasn’t back in the league until 2016 at the age of 23. Since he has made it as a regular, he hasn’t been spectacular or really even noteworthy, but he has been consistent.
His average ERA of 4.67 isn’t aided by the ballpark he plays in or the strength of team around him, but with an average of about 167 innings pitched per year, Bundy is just reliable. Since being moved to a starter full time in 2017, he hasn’t started fewer than 28 games.
This would be a cheap option with some upside that could work as both a player to compete for a starting role, or he could move back to the bullpen. Bundy really does work better as a back of the rotation starter though as he throws a full five-pitch mix.
With his fastball, sinker, slider, curveball, and changeup, Bundy excels at getting soft contact. While his fastball only sits at about 91 mph, it is in the 86th percentile when it comes to spin rate. That means that while Bundy throws 91, it plays up.
Bundy isn’t a free agent after the 2022 season and really the more I pour over his numbers, the more I like what I see as an insurance policy. He really is ordinary as a starting pitcher, which is what makes him so great. You know exactly what you are going to get, and at 27, Bundy could still mature and grow.
Given that Bundy isn’t a top-end pitcher, his price wouldn’t be too much and while I may think the rotation is set, it’s really hard to trust Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez while hoping nobody else gets injured.
Bundy is a bargain bin acquisition which means he’d be right up the Cardinals’ alley.
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If the Cardinals got Bundy, I would expect he will compete with Waino for that final roster spot in the Spring. Competition is never a bad thing and while Bundy will never win a Cy Young award, he could be an extremely valuable safeguard against the inevitable injury bug that comes to each team every year.