People who casually pay attention to baseball might not know that the Baltimore Orioles have a commanding lead in the American League Central. They are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, barring a complete collapse in the last few weeks of the regular season. While they certainly have stars on the roster, Darren O’Day is just one role player who has been able to step his game up and make this team legitimate. He might not get a lot of recognition outside of the team, but those who follow the franchise know just how valuable he is.
In the bullpen, most people like to pay attention to Zach Britton. He has turned into a shutdown closer for the franchise, and he is pretty valuable in fantasy baseball as one of the best in the game at his position. The same type of value is not there in fantasy baseball for O’Day, simply because he is viewed as just an arm out of the bullpen. However, it is hard to argue with his numbers in pressure situations.
So far this year, he has been nearly unhittable out of the bullpen. He has made over 60 outings, and his ERA is right around 1.30 on the year. He has been able to have success against right-handed and left-handed hitters, and that is very valuable out of the bullpen. Instead of always having to go with matchups, manager Buck Showalter can simply go to O’Day to face anyone in a pressure situation.
Pitching is very important in the postseason, and Baltimore knows that they are only going to go as far as their staff takes them. It looks like Chris Tillman is going to be viewed as the ace of the pitching staff in the postseason, but there will be a lot of opportunities for the bullpen to come through as well. That is where O’Day might actually start to get some recognition for what he does for the team.
At 31 years of age, some people view O’Day as a guy who is just having a career season at this point in time. As long as he is able to write a hot streak for another 6 or so weeks, Baltimore will be more than satisfied with the production he brings to the table.
Guest Writer: Mark Jenkins