O'Day "excited" to be on the active roster

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Reliever Darren O'Day is back in the Orioles bullpen tonight, the location in foul ground at Tropicana Field robbing him of the opportunity to catch a few more home run balls.

O'Day hasn't pitched for the Orioles since June 6 before going on the disabled list with soreness in his right shoulder. He greeted his return to the active roster with the usual humor, so dry that it should come with a drop of vermouth and an olive.

"I'm excited," he said, his voice offering no proof. "Hoping I'll get some chances at shortstop. Maybe some right field. So, it's good to be back and activated."

Manager Buck Showalter isn't looking to experiment with his setup man.

O'Day-Sidewinding-Gray-Sidebar.jpgO'Day threw a simulated game on Wednesday at Camden Yards and was pronounced ready, with no need for an injury rehab assignment.

"If I wasn't OK, I would have gone and done one," he said. "Yeah, I'm OK with it. It wasn't a very long DL stint. I feel like I was throwing well when I hit the DL, so I'm good to go."

O'Day allowed one run over eight appearances before the Pirates pushed across a run. The Orioles won 6-5 in 10 innings, were victorious the following night and lost 11 of their next 15 games.

Being a spectator during the plummet is no laughing matter for O'Day.

"It's tough because you want to help," he said. "These are guys I've been working with, a lot of them I've been working with for years and years. To see them go out there and struggle is tough.

"It's exciting to be back. This time it wasn't a long DL stint, so I kind of stayed engaged and went in the bullpen every day and stayed in routine. Caught a couple of home runs. So, feel like I'm right where I need to be."

Closer Zach Britton is expected to join him by July 5 without any setbacks.

"It's always a plus when you get your guys back, for sure," O'Day said. "I'm excited about that."

The argument has been made on social media that O'Day and Britton wouldn't have been able to do much in blowout losses. A setup man and closer don't usually factor into them. But their absences threw the entire bullpen out of whack and created opportunities that weren't seized.

"We've got to do better in all facets of pitching," O'Day said. "It's not just the starters and not just the bullpen, it's everybody. If your closer's throwing two or three innings of mop-up that would have complicated things if we didn't have as much length as we did in that stretch.

"Hopefully, there will be more leads to work with and we'll be able to get out there and do what we did."

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