DETROIT — Veteran reliever Darren O'Day said he had a "tired shoulder" last week but is available for Tuesday night's series opener with the Detroit Tigers, giving the team a full-strength bullpen in more than a week.
O'Day, who is coming off a 2016 season during which he missed time with a severe hamstring problem and a right rotator cuff strain, made 15 appearances in the first 31 days of the season before his recent time off.
Before Tuesday's game, he cited his previously heavy workload but said he didn't pitch in the three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals only because manager Buck Showalter "was trying to be more judicious with how he used me."
When asked whether it was a shoulder problem he had dealt with before, O'Day said he believes it's different.
Though Showalter said Saturday after the game that O'Day hadn't been available, O'Day said he warmed up all three days during the series.
Showalter said it "depends on how you define warm up," adding that O'Day threw five or six pitches in the bullpen, but the ideal for the team was always to get O'Day to Monday's day off without pitching so the Orioles "might get the 100 percent guy, if we can."
O'Day has a 5.02 ERA. Four of the eight runs he's allowed this season came while recording two outs in an April 9 loss to the New York Yankees.
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Ten of his past 12 outings, including three of his past four innings, have been scoreless. But after three outings in four days on May 5-8, the team shelved him for what became a week.
At times in Kansas City without him and Brad Brach, Showalter had just three relievers available.
"We would have traded rest for wins, but that's how the season goes," O'Day said. "There's going to be times when you're pitching every day, and it happens. You've just got to be ready when it happens and take advantage of the times when it's slow to rest and rejuvenate."
Overall, he believes the team has done a good job covering for the absences of him and Brach, who hasn't pitched since Wednesday, while acknowledging how difficult six-man bullpens are, especially without closer Zach Britton.
"Zach is obviously out, so we all have to step up and kind of carry that weight," O'Day said. "You'd like to have another late-inning arm. Zach was pretty good at pitching. We miss him, but it's no excuse. We just have to get out there and pitch when our name is called."