BALTIMORE — The Orioles placed right-handed relief pitcher Darren O’Day on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain prior to Friday’s series opener with the New York Yankees.
Right-handed pitcher Mike Wright was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to take O’Day’s place on the 25-man roster. Optioned to the Tides on Thursday, Wright was not required to remain in the minor leagues for 10 days since he was taking the place of a player going on the DL.
O’Day is expected to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection to help the healing process in hopes of him being ready to return after the minimum 15-day requirement. He last pitched in Wednesday’s 13-9 win over Boston in which he gave up a solo home run to Chris Young.
“He felt it a little bit [before], but covering first base the other night, [the hamstring] grabbed on him,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It wasn’t better the next day. We hope to get him back in 15. We’ll see. I’m cautiously optimistic about that. His arm feels great.”
Signed to a four-year, $31 million contract extension after his All-Star season in 2015, O’Day has posted a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings of work this season, but the sidearm reliever has surrendered five home runs, matching his total in 65 1/3 innings a year ago. His absence means the Orioles will likely lean more heavily on Brad Brach and Mychal Givens in the late innings to help bridge the gap to closer Zach Britton, meaning the likes of Dylan Bundy and Brian Duensing will need to filling more meaningful roles in middle relief.
Since 2012, O’Day has served as the backbone of the Orioles bullpen by pitching to a 2.00 ERA in 283 innings and averaging 68 appearances per season.
Yet to announce a starting pitcher for Monday’s game against Kansas City, Showalter was noncommittal about Wright making what was to be his original start before he was optioned to the minors on Thursday. The 26-year-old will be available in the bullpen after Friday’s game.
“We’ll see what Monday brings,” Showalter said. “We’re trying to get through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It will kind of be a moving target for a couple days.”