<
>

Darren O'Day and his beard return to pen

8/25/2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Darren O'Day has no plans to trim his extremely thick beard.

"Why would he?" fellow reliever Mark Lowe said. "If I could grow one like that, I would."

But he does have plans on providing an important additional arm out of the bullpen down the stretch for the Rangers. O'Day said he's finally fully healthy, and he wasn't just talking about his surgically-repaired hip. O'Day said in July he found out he had walking pneumonia.

"I would go out to the mound and feel worn out," O'Day said. "My energy level is back up, and I feel like myself again."

O'Day tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings in his most recent stint in Round Rock and noticed he wasn't wilting in the heat as much now that he feels better. He was with the club Tuesday night when they clinched a division title.

"It was fun to celebrate with the guys," O'Day said. "I felt like I was part of the team, and those are good guys. I'm feeling better and pitching better."

O'Day said he's in a good place with his mechanics, throwing strikes and locating pitches better. And the key is he's able to repeat that motion.

"I just want to help this team," O'Day said.