Darren O’Day retires from MLB after 17 years

On Monday, January 30, 2023, former Oriole reliever Darren O’Day would take to social media and announce that he would be retiring from Major League Baseball.

O’Day had an illustrious career that ends as one of, if not the best, sidearm pitchers in MLB history. Let’s take a look back at O’Day’s great career.

O’Day attended Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida, where he is one of seven players who attended the high school and would be drafted. O’Day would then decide to take his talents to the University of Florida, where he would be an outstanding bullpen arm for the Gators.

O’Day would pitch at Florida for four years and would have a 23-9 record with a 3.14 ERA in his collegiate career. He would appear in 117 games and give up a total of 233 hits in 223.2 innings pitched, while allowing 78 earned runs, walking 41 batters and striking out 190.

O’Day would also collect 20 saves during his time with the Gators. His best overall season was in 2004, when he went 8-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 26 appearances, 59.2 innings.

O’Day would sign his first MLB contract on May 29, 2006, with the Los Angeles Angels. He would spend the 2006 and 2007 seasons in the minors before making his big league debut on March 31, 2008, with the Angels.

During his rookie year, O’Day would post a 4.57 ERA in 30 games, 43.1 inning pitched. He would be selected in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft by the New York Mets after the season.

O’Day would be a bounced around the league, as he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers in 2009 after just four months and four total appearances with the Mets. He would be a huge factor for the AL pennant winners in 2010, as he produced a 6-2 record with a 2.03 ERA in 72 appearances. He also had a WHIP under one, a K/9 at 9.7 and only walked 12 batters.

After a struggling 2011 season, O’Day would be placed back on waivers. On November 2, 2011, he would be claimed by the team that he would be known for the most, the Baltimore Orioles.

O’Day would come out the gate strong in Baltimore, as he made 69 appearances and carried a 2.28 ERA, held opponents to a .202 batting average and carried a strikeout percentage of 26.2%. In five postseason games that year, the deceptive righty did not give up a single run, gave up one total hit and walk and struck out five in seven innings of work.

O’Day would continue to dominate in Baltimore until 2018. He was an All-Star in 2015, when he would hold his lowest ERA with the Orioles at a 1.52.

From 2012 to 2018, O’Day would pitch in 391 appearances, which would be the third most in Orioles’ history for a reliever. He carried a 28-14 record, and in 374.1 innings pitched, he gave up 269 total hits and 100 earned runs.

He also had a 2.40 ERA in his career as an Oriole, had 424 strikeouts, carried a 174 ERA+, A FIP of 3.33 and a WHIP of just under one. He also had a SO/BB ratio of 4.12, a K/9 of 10.2, BB/9 of 2.5 and saved 19 games in orange and black.

O’Day would be traded by the Orioles during the 2018 trade deadline, when he would be packaged with Kevin Gausman to the Atlanta Braves for Brett Cumberland, J.C. Encarnación, Evan Phillips, Bruce Zimmermann and international signing pool money. He would spend two years with the Braves, one year as a New York Yankee and then one more year with the Braves to round out his career.

O’Day had a career based around a 2.59 ERA in 609 inning pitched, 644 appearances. Having 637 strikeouts and a 9.4 K/9 in his career really shows how much of a dominant set-up man O’Day was for almost a decade.

One of the best relievers in Orioles’ history, and one who earned his own chant of his last name at Oriole Park Camden Yards. Congratulations on a great 17-year career, Darren O’Day, and many blessings throughout your years of retirement.

What do you think of O’Day’s career? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

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