Orioles reliever Darren O'Day dealt with the right hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list for over a week before aggravating it Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox, and said Saturday he isn't sure how long his recovery will take.
The All-Star reliever, who signed a four-year, $31 million deal this past offseason to stay with the Orioles, said it's a high hamstring strain, which takes longer to heal than a typical strain. And that's compounded by the fact that it bothers him when he bends over — a signature part of the beginning of his delivery.
"It wasn't very good after I hurt it," O'Day said.
He first felt it warming up before the Orioles' game on May 24 in Houston. In three outings since that, he allowed two home runs and watched his ERA jump from 2.60 to 3.15.
O'Day said the hamstring improved with treatment over the course of the road trip, to the point that he jogged in from the bullpen full-speed Wednesday.
But the first batter he faced that day, center fielder Chris Young, turned on a hanging slider that raised manager Buck Showalter's eyebrows.
"It really hit me the other day, the flat breaking ball to [Young], who hit the home run off Darren, 0-2 — that was about as flat — usually he sweeps that ball right out of the zone," Showalter said. "You look at [pitching coach Dave Wallace] going, 'Hm, I haven't seen that pitch.' Then he got back on the horse, got a couple outs. I don't know."
The next out after that was the ground ball to first base, which O'Day said he felt a pop on while covering the bag. The fact that no one is pegging them to a short timeline for a return indicates it could be on the severe side for a strain.
"I did something similar to my left hamstring when I was in A-ball, and I came back relatively quick," O'Day said. "We'll see. Nobody will put a timeline on it. I don't think it'll have to be surgery, so that's nice.
"There's nobody that's going to say, 'I'll bet my life it's going to be 15 days.' But I'm going to do whatever I can to get back as fast as I can."
Showalter doesn't seem to be operating under the assumption that it will only require 15 days on the disabled list, either.
"It'll be close, I hope, if things fall the right [way]," he said. "But don't hold me to it. It could be longer. I'm hoping that he comes in in three days and says, 'You guys screwed this up. I'm ready.' After seeing the MRI, I don't think so."
Around the horn
Showalter said Wright and Vance Worley were both available in the bullpen Saturday and could use an outing as a "work day" if they were to start Monday. T.J. McFarland, who pitched an inning of relief Friday, is also a candidate to start Monday despite that. … New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (Severna Park), who left Friday night's series opener in the third inning, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an articulate cartilage tear in his right knee. The club called up former Oriole Chris Parmelee to replace him. … Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson was on the field two hours before the game playing catch with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop, who is taking seriously the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday at Oriole Park. Anderson worked with Alsop on her throwing mechanics as a videographer filmed the session for the team's and the Symphony's social media sites.