He has thrown two bullpen sessions and manager Buck Showalter said the second was not as encouraging as the first. For now, it looks like the next step will be another bullpen at some point before he can advance to throwing in a simulated game.
“We are just trying to take it slow and do it right,” O’Day said this afternoon.
“There’s been days where I felt like I was ready for a game and then two days later it wouldn’t feel nearly as well. It’s tough. It’s right on the bone. There’s not a ton of blood supply as far as I understand, so it takes a while to scar down and re-attach. And the way I pitch, I stress that area quite a bit. So, don’t want to be dealing with it all season. We are just trying to get it right.”
O’Day is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA over 22 games. Does he still feel discomfort when pitching?
“Sometimes,” he said. “The only real actives I’ve done so far are pitching and a little bit of running. Pitching is, it elongates the muscle there, so that produces it sometimes. Still kind of figuring it out.”
Meanwhile, catcher Caleb Joseph is ready to return to the team. His name is on the lineup card and it looks as though he will be activated tonight. But as of this writing, no roster moves were yet announced.
The names of Joseph and right-handers Vance Worley and Chaz Roe were listed on today’s lineup card, while the names of catcher Francisco Pena, left-hander T.J. McFarland and right-hander Oliver Drake were not.
“Super exciting (to be back),” Joseph said in the Orioles clubhouse. “It’s been a month or so and I miss these guys. This is family away from family and there are relationships here that are deep and strong. It’s exciting to see the team doing so well. Hopefully come back and have a seamless transition back into it. It’s been fun to watch from the outside but it’s so fun to be back with them.”
Joseph has not played since taking a foul ball to his groin area on May 30 and he underwent surgery for a testicular injury.
He was not cleared to catch until Monday and caught the last three nights at Single-A Frederick.
“I was surprised at how my body responded,” he said. “Everything with the groin area, that was a piece of cake. What I’m talking more about is my legs and feeling strong and feeling stamina-wise that I could contribute in a nine-inning game in the big leagues. Very happy with that. Felt really good.”
He seems to have crossed any mental hurdles, as well, after playing in 12 rehab games and catching in three of them.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say certain pitches in certain counts to certain-type of hitters, it kind of crosses my mind,” he said. “But I think that is normal. And it didn’t affect the way I caught the ball. The first game it went through my head, but not in the last two. This is a dangerous sport sometimes and you’re seeing it the last couple of weeks. We’ve seen guys really go down and it’s a violent sport sometimes. You know the risks and you have to get past it mentally.”