Texas Rangers: Darren O'Day

The Texas Rangers return home for a nine-game homestand, starting tonight with three games against the Baltimore Orioles. A look at some things to watch during the series:

  • [+] EnlargeNelson Cruz
    Bob Levey/Getty ImagesNelson Cruz's status for the series with the Rangers is unclear after he was hit by a pitch Sunday.
    Nelson Cruz. His return to Texas is the big storyline of the series. But when might he play? Scott Feldman hit Cruz in the hand Sunday and he came out in the third inning. X-rays were negative, but Cruz didn't know if he'd be able to hold a bat and swing it in time for Tuesday's game. But you would think at some point he'll play and when he does, it will be interesting to see him back in Arlington.
  • Offensive momentum. Texas created a little of it during the recent road trip, scoring runs in bunches. The Rangers turned a one-run inning into two- or three-run frames, taking leads at crucial junctures in Detroit and Minnesota. But can they sustain it at home? Texas is hitting .280 as a team away from Arlington, but just .249 at home. The Rangers are scoring 3.8 runs per game at home and 4.5 on the road. To have a successful series and homestand, they must start hitting at Globe Life Park.
  • Alex Rios. The right fielder has been terrific with the bat, hitting .391 on the trip. He leads the team in RBIs. The Rangers will need him to post a solid June, starting with this series against the Orioles.
  • Colby Lewis. The veteran right-hander has been up and down of late. He gave up two runs in 5⅔ innings in Detroit (though he had five walks) in a blowout win. But Lewis surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in 5⅔ innings in a loss in Washington. He's expected to pitch twice on this homestand, so the Rangers need the Lewis who keeps his team in games, not the one who can give up early hits and runs and force Texas to play from behind.
  • Former Rangers. There are a slew of them on this Orioles team. Besides Cruz, manager Buck Showalter (a former manager of the year in Texas) brings some other familiar faces with him. Tommy Hunter is on the 15-day disabled list. But Darren O'Day will be available in the bullpen and, of course, Chris Davis will be at first base.

Wash: Davis-Uehara trade win-win

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
6:22
PM CT
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Rangers will see some old friends during this four-game series with the Orioles at Camden Yards. Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Darren O'Day all played with Texas earlier in their careers, but there’s one player the Rangers may remember better than most.

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Chris Davis came to Baltimore with Hunter in the July 30, 2011 deal for Orioles reliever Koji Uehara and cash. Davis hit 42 homers in 266 games with the Rangers but never broke through.

He played parts of four seasons with the Rangers, but everything changed when Davis came to Baltimore. Last year, Davis belted 33 homers and had 85 RBIs in 139 games. He’s got the same numbers already this year after only 88 games -- and earned an All-Star berth.

Rangers manager Ron Washington didn’t sound all that surprised with the success Davis has found with the Orioles.

“Right now, that guy is really, really, really swinging the bat,” Washington said. “I know who this Chris Davis is -- that’s the Chris Davis that was in Triple-A, kicking ass. He didn’t show up until he came to Baltimore. He just finally figured it out.”

Washington said the Rangers needed to make that move two years ago to get Uehara, who helped their bullpen push the team to a World Series berth.

“We ended up going to the World Series, and it took Chris a couple years here to find himself,” Washington said. “This year, he found it. If we’d have kept him for six years, we’d have had that Chris Davis, but we needed to get the pieces [Baltimore] gave to us, and Chris Davis was in it. Baltimore won that one. We did, too, because ... Uehara did a good job for us too.”

Choices: Washington and the Rangers still haven’t decided on Wednesday’s starter for the third game of this series, but he said it’s going to be either Josh Lindblom or Ross Wolf.

“It’s between those two, “Washington said. “Just got to see if we need to use [them] before we do that. [We’ll] see how tonight’s game goes and then you’ll have that decision.”

Lindblom is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He’s started twice and pitched three times in relief. Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA.

Washington said he’s got no qualms starting either pitcher. The starter will go against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles, making his return after close to two months on the disabled list due to a right oblique strain.

No celebration: Reliever Cory Burns didn't do anything crazy after getting his first major league win Sunday.

He threw one inning of scoreless relief in the win over Houston and earned the victory. Joe Nathan gave him the ball, and Burns also got a couple of other balls. His fiancee and family were in attendance.

But he just smiled when asked if there was a big celebration.

"Got on an airplane and came [to Baltimore]," he said. "As far as baseball's concerned, that day is over."

This and that: Washington said that Joakim Soria is available Monday after pitching Sunday and that the Rangers won't mind using him in back-to-back games. Soria made his first appearance since Sept. 11, 2011 on Sunday after missing 2012 following Tommy John surgery. ... The Rangers and Orioles play seven games this season, and all will be in the next two weeks. The Rangers have a 10-2 record again the Orioles in the last two seasons, but Baltimore won the wild-card playoff last year in Texas.


BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Darren O'Day threw Josh Hamilton an 0-2 sinker that didn't go where it was supposed to and Hamilton crushed it to center field for his fourth and final home run of the night.

"I can say that was the worst pitch of my career,' said O'Day, a former teammate of Hamilton's. "[The] guy’s already got three bombs and I had him 0-2 and I throw it right over the middle. I couldn’t have soft–tossed it any better to him. I’d like that pitch back for sure. You can’t say enough about the day he had."

O'Day wasn't the only Orioles pitcher that served up a homer to Hamilton. TCU product Jake Arrieta gave up two homers to Hamilton, the first on a first-pitch curveball in the first inning. Zach Phillips, who was in the Rangers' organization at one point but never made the big leagues with Texas, surrendered the third one.

BALTIMORE -- The Texas Rangers will play four straight nights at Camden Yards, home off the Baltimore Orioles, otherwise known as the Rangers of the AL East.

Texas should feel right at home seeing some familiar faces wearing Orioles jerseys. Buck Showalter, the Rangers' manager before Ron Washington was hired in 2007, is the club's skipper. And he has a gaggle of former Rangers on his team. Some things to watch:

* How tired is the Baltimore bullpen? The O's used seven relievers in Sunday's 17-inning win over Boston at Fenway Park (that doesn't include Chris Davis, who won't be pitching again this season unless it's an emergency, though he did throw two scoreless innings to get the win). Six of those relievers threw at least 20 pitches, and four of them pitched two innings. We'll see what kind of toll that takes as the series begins.

* Davis appears to be figuring things out. He's hitting .299 with five homers and 14 RBIs on the season (and that's despite an 0-for-8 game with five strikeouts Sunday). Davis, a Longview native, has seen limited at-bats against lefties but has hit them well (6-for-18). He has 20 strikeouts and seven walks on the season, but that's actually an improvement in the strikeout area. Davis had 150 strikeouts in 391 at-bats in 2009 for Texas and another 40 strikeouts in 120 at-bats in 2010 before he was sent down. It's good to see Davis getting it together. I still think he needed a change of scenery to make that happen.

* Tommy Hunter pitched in Baltimore's second game of the season and pitched Sunday, so the Rangers won't face him in this series. He's 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA so far in 2012.

* Darren O'Day (2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings) and Pedro Strop (3-1 with two saves and 1.59 ERA) are important members of the Orioles bullpen.

* Endy Chavez is on the bench and is 7-for-55 so far this season.

* As for players that aren't former Rangers, Texas could see closer Jim Johnson this series. He's 8-for-8 in save opportunities this season.

* Catcher Matt Wieters has seven home runs, second behind Adam Jones (eight) for the team lead. Wieters also has a team-high 18 RBIs to go along with his .301 average.

* Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland had three hits Saturday and may be coming into the series feeling much more comfortable. He was 5-for-9 in the first two games of the series against the Indians and is 13-for-29 (.448) in his last nine games. That includes two homers.

* Keep an eye on Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre. Hamilton played in Cleveland and Beltre had the big pinch-hit homer Saturday and appears close to becoming an everyday player again as he pushes through sore hamstrings.

* Baltimore won't see Yu Darvish in this series after he pitched Sunday. He's slated to start Friday against the Angels in Arlington.

Union chief talks testing, Josh Hamilton

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
4:09
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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Michael Weiner, executive director of the MLB Players Association, was in Surprise on Tuesday as part of the Rangers' union meeting.

But part of that meeting was not to elect a union representative. Both the Rangers' primary representative last year (C.J. Wilson) and a backup (Darren O'Day) are no longer on the club. But the club won't name a new representative until probably June, once the roster is set and the season has started.

Weiner talked to the players about the Ryan Braun case and spoke to the media about Josh Hamilton's recovery. As for the Braun situation, Weiner stressed that that MLB's testing system "remains strong and they [the players] should have confidence in the system" following Braun's successful appeal of a 50-game suspension.

"Any strong program has to to deter use, has to have appropriate penalities and also has to have a fair appeals process," Weiner said. "This doesn't take away from our process. Anybody that wants both a tough and fair program should be satisfied with this result."

As for Hamilton, Weiner said the MLBPA's "initial feeling was the same as anybody -- concern for Josh and his family."

"The union and the Commissioner's Office jointly administer a program and Josh is a part of that," Weiner said. "Josh is working hard under that program and our first concern is for Josh's well-being."

Weiner said the MLBPA and MLB have counselors that will continue to oversee Hamilton's treatment program.

"Josh has the resources that he needs," Weiner said.

Orioles claim Darren O'Day on waivers

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
1:29
PM CT
Right-handed pitcher Darren O'Day has been claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, the Rangers announced Wednesday.

O'Day was limited to 16 appearances for the Rangers in 2011 because of injuries and was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. He started the season with the Rangers but was placed on the 60-day disabled list in late April after undergoing surgery to repair a partial tear of the labrum in his left hip. He returned to the DL in late August with right shoulder inflammation.

The 29-year-old O'Day played for the Los Angeles Angels and New York Mets before coming to Texas, which claimed him on waivers in April 2009. He was 2-1 with a 1.94 ERA the rest of that season and followed with 6-3 mark and 2.03 ERA in 72 appearances in 2010.

Postgame audio: Rangers-Rays

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
12:37
PM CT
A collection of interviews from the Rangers clubhouse after winning the ALDS. The voices you'll hear with Ben & Skin are: Derek Holland, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli, Darren O'Day, David Murphy, Mike Adams and more Derek Holland.

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels talks to Skin as the Rangers celebrate their ALDS win over Tampa Bay.

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Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson dishes on the team's second consecutive ALCS berth, the performance of Adrian Beltre and more.

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Rangers skipper Ron Washington weighs in on the team's attitude heading into the ALCS, reflects on their performance in the ALDS and more.

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Ben Rogers catches up with Colby Lewis in the clubhouse after the Rangers beat the Rays in the ALDS.

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MLB Network's Mark DeRosa comments on the Rangers' ALDS win over the Rays, looks ahead to the ALCS and more.

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Notes: Starting pitchers will be limited

September, 25, 2011
9/25/11
12:13
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington is looking for five good innings today from Derek Holland. If he gets five strong, Holland might get a sixth. C.J. Wilson will pitch likely three innings Monday in Anaheim and so on through Wednesday's end to the regular season. Washington is getting his rotation ready and rested for Friday's start of the postseason.

The plan, Washington said, remains to go with a four-man rotation that appears to include Wilson, Colby Lewis, Holland and Matt Harrison. Washington has named Wilson as the Game 1 starter, but has yet to decide on an order after that. Wilson will leave Anaheim early to arrive either in New York or Arlington in proper time to prepare for his start.

"We know what we want to do," Washington said of his rotation. "We're not ready to say it yet."

A significant focus on the mound will be the relievers battling for spot on the ALDS roster. Those include Yoshinori Tateyama, Scott Feldman, Michael Kirkman and Darren O'Day. There will be plenty of innings for an intriguing competition to take root.

Tateyama helped his cause Saturday with a bounce-back performance in his first appearance since Sept. 10 when he joined a minuscule list of pitchers to give up a grand slam to consecutive batters faced. Tateyama pitched a hitless seventh inning against the Mariners with a couple of strikeouts. Meanwhile, Feldman allowed three runs on four hits and a walk over four innings.

* Nelson Cruz returns to right field today for the first time since he strained his left hamstring nearly a month ago. He's played seven games as the designated hitter. Cruz will play six or seven innings today, Washington said. Washington said his postseason outfield will is set with Cruz in right, Josh Hamilton in center and either David Murphy, Endy Chavez or Craig Gentry in left field.

Washington said his decision in left on a per-game basis might not necessarily be dictated by the starting pitcher being a lefty or right. Chavez and Murphy are left-handed hitters and Gentry is a righty.

"You could see Gentry, you could see Murphy. You could see Chavez. There is no set. The only thing that's going to be set is Hamilton and Cruz. The rest of it is flexible. You see Hamilton out there and you will see Cruz out there."

* The beef of the Rangers bullpen will get today off. Koji Uehara, Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz will not pitch today. Washington did not say who he plans to use as the closer if that situation occurs. He mentioned the possibility of taking a look during today's game at Michael Gonzalez, Mark Hamburger and Darren O'Day.

* The Rangers enter today's game one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers for the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in the ALDS. The No. 3 seed will open the postseason Friday night at the New York Yankees. While winning games remains a priority, Washington said resting his players properly to prepare them for the postseason is the top priority.

"The important thing is, for me, they need to be ready to go," Washington said. "They grind for me the whole year, the same guys, they need a break and I'm going to give them a break. I want to win and we expect to win, whoever we put out there, but I got to get them ready. I don't want to go into Friday and we're still feeling lag. I want to go in Friday mentally fresh, as physically fresh as we possibly can be at this point and see what happens."

* With a win today, the Rangers would match a team record with 52 home wins (also 1978) and finish with the best home winning percentage in club history at 52-29 (.642, the current best is .634 in 1978 when finished 52-30). It would also give the Rangers a seven-game win streak to end the home slate and a club-record 15th win over Seattle.

Mark Lowe is down that he's out

September, 23, 2011
9/23/11
5:07
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers reliever Mark Lowe is thoroughly disappointed at the timing of the Grade 2 hamstring strain that is expected to sideline him for the ALDS, assuming the Rangers advance.

Lowe said he suffered the injury during routine pre-game warmups Wednesday. He said he felt a pop on the seventh or eight stride while doing sprints. He had never suffered a hamstring injury before and didn't know what it was. Lowe, traded to the Rangers last year with Cliff Lee, was injured when he joined the club and wasn't added to the postseason roster until the World Series.

"It's awful timing," said Lowe, who has a 2.75 ERA in last 24 appearances. "It's why you play all year to be able to pitch at the end of the season and the playoffs. I can't say I'll be ready for the first round. I'm definitely going to try. If I can't I should be ready for the second round."

Lowe said there is no timetable for resuming activity. He said that's all in the hands of the trainers, who have been busy with hamstring injuries this season. Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz both went on the DL with strains.

Lowe's setback will open a pitching spot for the ALDS (assuming the Rangers clinch the AL West). That spot could go to either Yoshinori Tateyama or left-hander Darren O'Day. Washington said he hopes to get both of them on the mound soon if opportunities present themselves. Tateyama hasn't pitched since Sept. 10 when he became just the second pitcher in major-league history to surrender grand slam to consecutive hitters (also Sept. 3 at Boston).

If the Rangers clinch soon, Washington will be able to get each as much as work as possible to help him make a decision.

* Speaking of Cruz, manager Ron Washington said he wants to get Cruz back in the outfield soon, possibly this weekend against Seattle.

* Catcher Yorvit Torrealba is not in the starting lineup tonight, but he will be available off the bench. Torrealba was pulled from Friday's game with an upset stomach.

Notes: Monday last chance to set rotation

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
5:07
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have one more off day in this 2011 regular season and it comes while they are in Oakland on Monday.

That's the final chance they have to set their rotation just like they want it heading into the final nine games of the season and into the postseason. Right now, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison are scheduled to pitch in Seattle.

One option is to skip Alexi Ogando entirely and move him to the bullpen. And it seems that the club is leaning in that directon, though they'll decide more next week. They could go with Derek Holland, Wilson and Lewis in Oakland. That would set up Wilson to pitch Monday in Anaheim, should it appear that game will matter. If it doesn't, he could just shorten his start as a work day or the club could use a spot starter so Wilson is ready for Game 1 of the ALDS.

At this point, the plan is to see how things look in the standings and with the rotation on Sept. 19 and decide how to proceed from there. But that's the advantage to an off day late in the season.

Other notes:

* Nelson Cruz was activated. You can read all about that here. So was Darren O'Day. And Washington said O'Day is ready to pitch with no restrictions. "We'll use him as we need him," Washington said. O'Day was on the DL with a partial tear of the labrum in his left hip.

* Michael Young was given an extra hit after MLB reviewed and changed an error charged to Brandon McCarthy on Friday. So Young now has 194 hits for the season, one behind Adrian Gonzalez for the AL lead.

* Adrian Beltre, hitting fifth on Tuesday, has a 16-game hitting streak. It's the longest active streak in the majors. He'll try to continue it tonight.

* The Rangers will actually get a break from the heat by going to Seattle and Oakland starting this weekend. Washington said he expects to see players with a little more pep in their step out there because of it. "You can see their bodies energize and the mind energize," Washington said. "You don't get an opportunity to get tired."

Nelson Cruz activated, not in lineup

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
3:39
PM CT
The Rangers have activated Nelson Cruz and relief pitcher Darren O'Day.

Story to come.

Darren O'Day and his beard return to pen

August, 25, 2011
8/25/11
12:00
PM CT


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.

Notes: Cruz gets day off, O'Day returns

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
4:33
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington and outfielder Nelson Cruz both had the same answer when asked to describe Cruz's 2011 season: inconsistent.

And after watching Cruz go 3-for-23 in the last six games, Washington felt like he needed a break. Cruz said he always wants to play, but admitted he could probably use a day to refresh.

"It's something I probably need," Cruz said. "We've played quite a few games in a row. It's a long season. Sometimes you need to have time to recover for the end of the season."

Washington said it looked like Cruz was "dragging" and hopes he can use the off day to recharge mentally and physically. The last time he got a day off like this was in Anaheim in July after the All-Star break. Cruz hit the ball better in the weeks after that.

"Maybe this day will give him a shot," Washington said.

Cruz is hitting .259 with 26 homers and 78 RBIs and since July 1, he's hitting .385 with runners in scoring position. He's a streaky hitter and that's been evident this season, though he feels he's never been on a truly hot streak like he was at times last season.

"For all the numbers he put up, it could certainly be better," said Washington about Cruz's season. "Just inconsistent."

Other notes:

* Darren O'Day has returned for his third stint with the Rangers. He gives the club another arm in the bullpen. Scott Feldman still isn't quite ready and this is the time of year where relievers can have some issues, so it's important to have the additional arm. Taylor Teagarden was sent down and must stay there for 10 days. But if Matt Harrison has a good outing and the bullpen doesn't require much use, the club could call up another catcher if it chooses to shift things around.

* Because there's no third catcher, Yorvit Torrealba isn't in the lineup tonight. Mike Napoli is catching and Washington didn't want to risk using Torrealba as the DH if Napoli were to have to come out of the game. Washington said he would play Torrealba and Napoli in the lineup at the same time, but only if Napoli plays first (against a lefty).

* Washington will rotate the DH to get some guys off their feet. Ian Kinsler is the DH today and Michael Young could get that spot tomorrow.

* The Rangers' players from the Dominican Republic said their families are fine after Hurricane Irene hit part of the country.

Darren O'Day recalled, Teagarden optioned

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
2:28
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers recalled reliever Darren O'Day on Wednesday to help reinforce the bullpen. Taylor Teagarden was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, but will likely come back up a few days after rosters expand as the Rangers will want a third catcher on the bench.

O'Day has thrown 5 1/3 shutout innings in four appearances during his most recent stint for Round Rock. His last game was Sunday vs. New Orleans, when he gave up no runs on one hit in 1 2/3 innnings with three strikeouts and no walks (on 36 pitches, 20 of them strikes). Overall at Triple-A, O'Day was 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 17 games (one start) in 20 1/3 innings pitched this season.

O'Day will be making his third stint with the club and first since Aug. 6-9. He was on the disabled list a little more than two months after surgery to repair a partial tear of the labrum in his left hip. He's 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 2/3 innings for the Rangers this season.

Teagarden has had four different stints with the Rangers in 2011 and has hit .235 (8-for-34) with two doubles and two RBIs in 14 games. In Round Rock this season, Teagarden has hit .281 with 10 homers, four doubles, three triples and 20 RBIs in 37 games.

Craig Gentry up, Darren O'Day down

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
12:23
PM CT
The Texas Rangers have reinstated outfielder Craig Gentry from the seven-day concussion disabled list. To make room, they optioned right-handed reliever Darren O'Day to Triple-A Round Rock.

Gentry sustained a head and neck injury on July 24 while sliding into second base and was placed on major-league baseball's new seven-day DL on July 28. He returned to the club Wednesday after a five-day stint at Round Rock, but the Rangers did not reinstate immediately in order to keep an overworked bullpen fully stocked.

The Rangers have typically used the right-hand-hitting Gentry in left field against left-handed pitchers. He has batted .265 with five doubles and 39 RBIs in 39 games since being recalled on May 7.

O'Day was recalled on Saturday when Alexi Ogando departed on paternity leave.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.97 142 115
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .341
HRA. Beltre 13
RBIA. Beltre 50
RA. Beltre 50
OPSA. Beltre .929
ERAY. Darvish 2.97
SOY. Darvish 142