Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Yankees Sign Darren O'Day

Darren O'Day.

The Yankees added a solid reliever to their already stacked bullpen, as they signed free agent right-hander Darren O'Day to a one-year contract, with a player option for the 2022 season.

O'Day is most recognized by his submarine pitching motion, with his knuckles nearly hitting the dirt of the mound on his windup.

The 13-year veteran has pitched for five teams, and spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Braves. In last year's pandemic-shortened season, O'Day was 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA (16.1 innings pitched, 2 earned runs) and 22 strikeouts in 19 relief appearances. He ranked high among National League relievers (minimum 15 games) - fifth in WHIP (walk and hits per innings pitched) at 0.80; sixth in ERA, and eighth in hits/nine innings pitched (4.41). In 16 appearances from August 1 through September 25, he allowed only one unearned run in 13.2 innings pitched (4 hits, 4 walks, 17 K).

For his career, the Jacksonville, Florida native is 40-19 with a 2.51 ERA (576.2 innings pitched, 430 hits, 173 runs (161 earned), 158 walks, 600 strikeouts, 59 home runs) in 604 relief appearances. 

Since his Major League debut in 2008 with the Los Angeles Angels, he has the fourth-lowest ERA among qualified pitchers, trailing only Craig Kimbrel (2.17), Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman (2.25), and Kenley Jansen (2.39).

After spending one year with the Angels, he spent most of 2009 with the Mets (making him a familiar face to New York fans) before he was traded to the Texas Rangers that season. He stayed with Texas until 2011, part of both of their American League-pennant winning teams ('10 and '11), then pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 2012-18, before joining the Braves.

Since his first full season in 2009, he has limited right-handed hitters to a .186 opponents' batting average, yielding just 232 at-bats in 1.247 at-bats - third-lowest among pitchers with at least 1,200 batters faced over the span, trailing only Jansen (.161) and Chapman (.171). In that same period, he is one of 16 pitchers to make at least 60 appearances in seven-or-more seasons.

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