On this date seven years ago, the Angels signed an undrafted amateur free agent named Darren O'Day. Such transactions typically don't amount to much, but like his delivery, O'Day's story is anything but typical. He began his career as a 23-year-old at the Rookie-level Pioneer League but quickly ascended to Triple-A. By age 25, O'Day was in the Angels' bullpen but didn't replicate his minor league success. One Rule 5 selection and two waiver claims later, O'Day finds himself as a mainstay in the Orioles' bullpen. The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $5.8MM extension with a club option for 2015 in the offseason, which is probably exactly how he envisioned his life after he graduated from Florida with a degree in agricultural and life sciences and took the MCAT with hopes of becoming a plastic surgeon.
Here's more from around the league…
- Dustin Pedroia has been playing the entire season with a torn UCL in his left thumb, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Pedroia learned of the injury after jamming his hand in a head-first slide on Opening Day, but has elected to play "nicked up" (as he termed it). There's a possibility that the injury will require surgery following the season, but Pedroia chose not to elaborate on that scenario or on how the injury has affected his swing. “It’s a player’s decision to shut it down or play,’’ Pedroia said. “Players play."
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Royals need to stop living in denial. Manager Ned Yost recently said the team wasn't going to panic, but Rosenthal feels it's time to make some drastic changes and wonders if firing Yost could be one of them. He also speculates about the possibility of releasing Jeff Francoeur, demoting Mike Moustakas and firing a hitting coach.
- Justin Upton spoke with Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith about the honor of being selected No. 1 overall in a draft class that included Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Garza, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Gordon and Jay Bruce.