Orioles reliever Darren O’Day woke up this morning with his right shoulder feeling much better, the improvement significant enough to provide encouragement following updates that noted only how he was “inching along.”
However, O’Day still hasn’t been cleared to throw and can’t provide any timetables. He’s quite literally in day-to-day mode.
He’s also mad at himself for trying to pitch through the pain.
The Orioles placed O’Day on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 12 with a strained rotator cuff. He retired only one batter the previous day in Oakland and informed manager Buck Showalter of the discomfort, which actually surfaced during the eighth inning of the Aug. 8 series opener.
“I’m feeling better every day,” he said today after taking the field for the team photo, his first public comments since going on the DL. “The first thing you’ve got to do is get rid of the pain, and then you’ve got to get strength back and then you’ve got to start throwing. Right now, we’re still getting rid of the pain and have started exercises.
“I probably should have known better than to go out and try to throw again. It was already sore, but that’s just part of being a relief pitcher and being a player here is dealing with soreness. I think I made it worse when I went out there to pitch, but it is what it is. I’m working to get back as fast as I can. There’s no timetable. These guys won’t give me an idea of when I’ll be back. Obviously, I’d like for it to be at the end of the 15 days. I haven’t started throwing yet and there’s no plans to do it tomorrow. That’s about it.”
O’Day’s last pitch to Billy Butler signaled an issue with his shoulder. Three days later, he was back on the mound.
“I felt the pain (Aug. 8),” he said. “I pitched a scoreless inning. I threw a fastball away. I had a stiff shoulder the next few days. I tried to manage. Going out and pitching didn’t make it any better.”
O’Day is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 27, but is there any chance that he can be ready?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I woke up today feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. If I keep progressing like that, I wouldn’t say ‘no.’ It’s been pretty sore the past few days. I woke up today and felt a lot better.”
O’Day’s initial reluctance to go on the disabled list, which dissipated after his appointment with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs and the ensuing cortisone injection, largely stemmed from missing seven weeks with a strained hamstring.
“I’ve been spending some time trying to figure out what’s been exposing me to injuries,” said O’Day, who’s 3-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 30 relief appearances. “I’m still working on some stuff. I don’t know. I haven’t been injured in a long time, and to be injured twice in one year is frustrating.
“It’s the nature of the game when you play this many games. The previous injury could have contributed to this one. I don’t know. It happened to me in 2011. I hurt my hip labrum. I came back too soon, hurt my shoulder, got designated. That’s why (I’m here).
“I don’t want to say it’s predictable, but it’s happened to me before. You come back from injuries and you’re not 100 percent, you’re trying too hard. Even though I pitched fine in between injuries, it’s frustrating for sure. I miss the competition. It affects you every moment of the day. All you’re thinking about is getting back. It is frustrating.”
* Left-hander Brian Duensing will begin his injury rehab assignment on Monday with the Gulf Coast League team. He’s on the 60-day disabled list and recovering from surgery to remove cartilage chips from his left elbow.
For the Astros
George Springer RF
Alex Bregman 3B
Jose Altuve 2B
Carlos Correa SS
Evan Gattis C
Marwin Gonzalez LF
A.J. Reed 1B
Tyler White DH
Teoscar Hernandez CF
Collin McHugh RHP