O'Day with the Baltimore Orioles
|Baltimore Orioles – No. 56|
October 22, 1982 |
|March 31, 2008, for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
(through 2017 season)
|Earned run average||2.52|
|Career highlights and awards|
Darren Christopher O'Day (born October 22, 1982) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball for the University of Florida, and previously played in MLB for the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, and Texas Rangers. O'Day is one of the few Major League pitchers to throw submarine pitches.
Early life and amateur career
O'Day accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Pat McMahon's Florida Gators baseball team from 2003 to 2006. He earned Southeastern Conference (SEC) Academic Honor Roll recognition for four consecutive years, and was an Academic All-American as a senior. During the Gators' run in the 2005 College World Series, O'Day made four relief appearances and earned a save. O'Day graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in agricultural and life sciences in 2006.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
New York Mets
He made the Mets' roster out of spring training. He was widely quoted in the media on the death of his former teammate Nick Adenhart. He was designated for assignment by the Mets two weeks into the season in order to make room on the roster for Nelson Figueroa.
The Texas Rangers claimed him on April 22, 2009 and he made his debut the same day in extra innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, just minutes after getting to the bullpen from the airport. His arrival was so quick that he had to wear the jersey of Kason Gabbard in his first appearance.
During this period, when he arrived at the mound, Texas Rangers' fans began a traditional chant of his last name.
Limited to sixteen appearances due to a pair of injuries, O'Day was 0–1 with a 5.40 earned run average (ERA) in 2011. He was first sidelined from April 27 to July 1 because of a partial acetabular labrum tear in his left hip. Right shoulder inflammation sent him back to the disabled list for the second time from August 25 to September 12. He also pitched in eighteen minor league games with the Frisco RoughRiders and Round Rock Express, going a combined 1–0 with a 2.53 ERA. He was not activated to the Rangers' roster for any round of that year's postseason.
The Baltimore Orioles claimed O'Day off waivers on November 2, 2011. He was scheduled to make $1,350,000 in the 2012 season. Following the struggles of Pedro Strop, O'Day settled into the role of the 8th inning setup pitcher later in the 2012 season, often leaving the game in a manageable state for closer Jim Johnson. O'Day posted a 7-1 record with a 2.28 ERA by the end of the 2012 season. In 2013, O'Day continued his success as an Oriole, going 5-3 as their 8th inning setup man, while posting a 2.18 ERA in 68 games. He collected two saves and pitched 62.0 innings, while striking out 59 batters and holding opponents to a .210 batting average.
O'Day had a career year in 2014, as he pitched 682⁄3 innings in 68 games and collected a 5-2 record with four saves. He posted a 1.70 ERA along with a 0.89 WHIP. He also struck out 73 batters and held opponents to a career-best .174 batting average. He set career-bests in innings pitched, saves, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and opponent batting average. Despite his most successful season, O'Day struggled greatly in the postseason, as he posted an 0-2 record and a 13.50 ERA in four games. Particularly in the 2014 American League Championship Series, O'Day went 0-2 in three games and posted a 16.20 ERA.
In 2015, O'Day was selected to appear in the All-Star Game. He finished his career year with a 1.52 ERA in 68 appearances, which totaled to 651⁄3 innings. He compiled a 6-2 record and set a career-high with six saves. He also set a career-high with 82 strikeouts.
On December 14, 2015, the Orioles re-signed O'Day to a 4-year, $31 million contract. battling injuries throughout the duration of the season, O'Day had his worst year as an Oriole. He appeared in only 34 games, throwing 31 innings while pitching to a 3.77 ERA, his highest as a member of the Orioles. He compiled a 3-1 record and struck out 38 batters. O'Day also appeared in the Wild Card Game for the Orioles, tossing 12⁄3 innings while striking out one batter in a 5-2 loss.
O'Day's original family name was Odachowski. His paternal grandmother, who had raised his father Ralph and two uncles on her own after his grandfather died in a car accident, shortened it to Odach (the "ch" is silent in Polish phonology) to make it easier to pronounce for her colleagues at Montgomery Ward in Chicago. Ralph and one of his brothers legally changed their last names to O'Day in her honor after they were married. O'Day has "D. Odachowski" stitched on the side of his game glove to honor his family history. "Odachowski" is featured on the back of his jersey worn during MLB's Players Weekend on August 25–27, 2017.
- 2009 Florida Gators Baseball Media Guide, History Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine., University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88, 90, 95, 98, 101, 104 (2009). Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- Memory of Adenhart lives with O'Day
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Lyle Spencer, "Orioles claim O'Day off waivers from Rangers," MLB.com (November 2, 2011). Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- Connolly, Dan. "Orioles reliever Darren O'Day might be the most interesting man in baseball," The Baltimore Sun, Friday, September 20, 2013.
- Ghiroli, Brittany. "O'Day, Jones excited for Players Weekend," MLB.com, Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Darren O'Day.|