O’Day and Patton claim final two bullpen spots

NORFOLK, Va. - Even though he was slowed by a groin strain in camp, Darren O’Day has made a major league opening day roster for the fifth time. Troy Patton will join him there.

The Orioles have announced that they’ve optioned lefty Zach Phillips to Triple-A and Patton and O’Day claim the final spots in the bullpen. It was a mild surprised that O’Day made it and it means the O’s ‘pen begins the year with Patton as the only lefty.

“Coming into camp, I saw how many talented pitchers we amassed. Throughout camp we pitched real well, starters and relievers, so it’s definitely an honor to be included in the bullpen,” O’Day said.

“We had a roster crunch there. They are committed to winning and they want to put their best team on the field. I am glad they they feel like I’m part of that.”

O’Day missed some time in camp due to the groin injury, but in the end, the 29-year-old right-hander still made the roster.

“I wish I would have never gotten hurt, but it all worked out,” O’Day said. “I was able to get back on a mound. Maybe it was a blessing because I got to work with Rick Adair on some things. It’s all coming together at the right time. My last outing, I know it was against a college team, but I felt like I could have gotten anyone out. All the things we worked on came together and my ball was really moving the way I wanted it to. That’s the best I’ve thrown in two years.”

Here is what Patton said about making the team.

“I’m excited. I am really excited. But it will be interesting to see how it works, whether they use me long or short or specifically (against) lefties. Or what the deal is. But I’m just excited to be one of the 25,” Patton said.

“It’s been a very high anxiety time, but I knew as long as I pitched well this spring something good would happen. I’d be somewhere pitching hopefully and they liked me enough to keep me on the team. And I’m going to do my best to get the outs whenever my name is called against lefties, righties, whoever they put up there and do whatever job it is that I am going to be doing.

“I have established a lot of relationships with a whole bunch of these guys and I’ve been working hard with this team since they traded for me and I’ve been wanting to help them out in the big leagues for a long time and it looks like I am actually going to get the opportunity.”

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