A submarine era in baseball has come to an end. Former relief pitcher of six different teams, including the Baltimore Orioles, Darren O'Day, announced his retirement from baseball after 15 seasons in the majors. O'Day last suited up for the Orioles in 2018.
O'Day broke into the bigs with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008 after signing as an undrafted free agent from the University of Florida. He first appeared for the Orioles in 2012, recording a 2.28 ERA, 2.96 FIP, and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 69 (nice) relief appearances, throwing 67 innings.
Throughout his career, O'Day was most known for his funky sidearm delivery, deceiving hitters and able to record outs despite being slower in terms of velocity and pitch speed. At the end of 2022, O'Day had the fourth best ERA among relievers with over 600 innings pitched, with a 2.59 mark. Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman are the only ones better.
Once O'Day joined the Orioles, he began the most successful stretch of his career, spending seven seasons in Birdland. A member of three Orioles playoff squads, O'Day had a 2.40 ERA and 3.33 FIP in Baltimore, with his 21.5% strikeout minus walk rate ranking 10th best among relievers with 300 innings pitched.
In each of his first four seasons with the Orioles, O'Day logged at least 68 appearances each season, but never passed 65 after that as injuries began to mount. He did still have his moments, even getting 19 saves as a member of the Orioles, including one where he struck out the side.
Arguably, O'Day's best season came in 2015, when he made his first and only All Star Game. He had a 1.52 ERA, 2.49 FIP, and 0.93 WHIP, appearing in 68 games and picking up a career high six saves in 65 1/3 innings pitched that season.
And who can forget Buck Showalter's Solowheel prank?
So Congrats on a great career, Darren. You're forever a part of Birdland, and we hope to see you at Camden Yards again someday.