TODAY: O’Day will undergo season-ending surgery on his hamstring, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) was among those to report. The projected recovery time is six months, so O’Day should be ready to go for Spring Training.
YESTERDAY: The Orioles have placed reliever Darren O’Day on the 60-day disabled list and designated infielder Corban Joseph for assignment, per a club announcement. O’Day had previously been placed on the 10-day DL with a left hamstring injury.
Those moves cleared two needed 40-man roster spots to facilitate a pair of promotions. To create active roster space, the O’s optioned pitchers Jimmy Yacabonis and Yefry Ramirez.
Needless to say, it’s hardly promising to see O’Day heading to the 60-day DL so soon after being diagnosed with a strained hammy. Clearly, it’s not a minor injury. Indeed, a second opinion has already confirmed that initial impression, per Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com (via Twitter).
O’Day is still weighing (and perhaps leaning toward) surgery, Connolly notes. If that’s necessary, it is likely he won’t return this year. Even if the prognosis turns out to be slightly more promising, the veteran reliever no longer seems like a plausible trade candidate.
In theory, O’Day could return in very late August. His contract would certainly clear waivers, facilitating a deal. And we have seen deadline deals worked out for injured players in some prior cases (see, e.g., here). But with $9MM still to go in 2019, in addition to the remainder of this season’s $9MM salary, it’s all but impossible to imagine something coming together unless the contract is simply utilized to offset other salary being swapped.
It’s yet more unfortunate news for an Orioles organization that is saddled with multiple undesirable contracts. O’Day had pitched quite well this year when healthy, with a 3.60 ERA and impressive combination of 12.2 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 over his twenty innings, leaving some hope that the club could at least save some money and perhaps get a bit of talent back in return.
As for the 29-year-old Joseph, today’s move wraps up his second brief turn in the majors. He had performed quite well at Double-A prior to his promotion, slashing .332/.398/.534 in 281 plate appearances.