It has been more than a month since reliever Darren O’Day has pitched for the Orioles, but his wait to return to the active roster is now potentially down to to hours. O’Day could return as soon as tomorrow. After his rehab outing last night for Double-A Bowie, he feels ready to rejoin the team.
On the disabled list since June 3 with a right hamstring strain, O’Day started and pitched the first inning last night for the Baysox against Erie. He allowed one single in a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. He threw 16 pitches, 11 for strikes. He even joked about his uniform on David Bowie Night.
“I did the rehab outing at Bowie. Wore a pretty bad jersey, probably the worst jersey I’ve ever worn,” he said. “The outing was good, I felt good. I got to execute most of my pitches and it felt good to get back out there. I had a baserunner, so that was good. Got to remember what that is like, pitching with guys on base. It was an altogether positive.”
Now O’Day hopes he will be one and done. One rehab game and back to the Orioles.
“I hope so,” he said. “I have to sit down and talk with Buck (Showalter) and the trainers, and see what they want to do. But my delivery was in a good place and I was making a lot of good pitches. Everything is moving like it should. I hope to be back in the next couple of days.”
O’Day’s last game with the Orioles was June 1. In 22 games, he is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA over 20 innings. He said he doesn’t have any mental hurdles to cross and he was not even thinking about the injury when he pitched last night.
“I didn’t think about it when I was pitching.” he said. “You know, I was facing some good hitters. Guys I had (pitched) against before in the big leagues. I was just trying to get them out. We’ve done enough work to get it where it needs to be where I can go out there and not think about it. That is how you know you’re ready.”
Despite getting to pitch in the first inning last night, he joked he is not looking for new role.
“I got my starting ERA down to 4.50,” he said. “That was my second inning as a starter. My first one started off with a leadoff home run. So that was my goal to get it down to 4.50. So now I’m a mediocre Double-A starter.”