In the midst of the 2002 season, Bowie reliever Jeff Hundley made two changes that may have given his career new life. He altered his arm angle to add more deception to his pitches and he moved out of the starting rotation and into the bullpen.
After going 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in two starts at the beginning of the 2002 season for Salt Lake, the Class AAA affiliate of the Anaheim Angels, Hundley was sent to Class AA Arkansas, where he compiled a 3.38 ERA in 38 appearances out of the bullpen. In 2003, the Milwaukee Brewers signed the left-hander and after being promoted to Class AA Huntsville late in the season, he posted a 1.59 ERA in nine relief outings.
"It changed my mind frame," the Warren, Ohio, native said about his move to the bullpen. "I was trying to save [arm strength] over seven innings, instead of going out there taking it a hitter at a time and giving it my best stuff. It just became a lot more fun; I felt like more a part of a team getting in there more often."
The Baltimore Orioles signed Hundley, 27, last October after the Brewers released him. In 13 games with the Baysox, Hundley has a 2.57 ERA, and has yielded only six earned runs in 21 innings of work and has proven he can handle just about any situation.
"He's been a versatile guy," Bowie Manager Dave Trembley said. "He's been able to come out of the bullpen and throw short relief, match up left against left and also give us some innings."
Originally drafted by the Angels in the seventh round of the 1998 draft from Bowling Green, Hundley's improved performance could not have come at a better time.
"There's a little bit more of a sense of urgency," Hundley said of entering his seventh year in the minors. "If you don't put up numbers, you're not going to get a job the next year, but you also appreciate it more and enjoy your time out on the field."