Dylan Bundy’s first four starts last season were emblematic of a few different things. They told the story of the 2019 Orioles, a team that would set records for pitching futility. They told the story of last year’s juiced ball, which helped facilitate the highest league-wide home run rate in history. And they told the story, once again, of how far Bundy’s star had fallen. Once considered a generational pitching prospect, a Tommy John surgery combined with other injuries wedged three whole years between Bundy’s first season of big league action and his second. As time passed, dreams of him becoming a bona fide ace faded, as he instead turned into something closer to an average back-end starter — from 2017-18, his first two years as a full-time starter, he had an ERA- of 110 and a FIP- of 106, below-average marks that could usually be blamed on problems with the long ball. Through four starts in 2019, those issues persisted; he threw just 17.1 innings and allowed 15 runs on 18 hits, with a whopping seven homers allowed to go with nine walks and 22 strikeouts.
It is that backdrop that has made Bundy’s first four starts of this season almost entirely unrecognizable….