Editors Note: Since this article was originally published Wednesday afternoon, the Texas Rangers have placed Darren O'Day on the 60-day disabled list so that he can have surgery to repair a partial tear of the labrum on his left hip. To take his place, the club has purchased the contract of RHP Ryan Tucker from Triple-A Round Rock. Tucker will be in uniform and available Wednesday night.
There have been better weeks to be a right-handed reliever for the Texas Rangers.
First came the sore shoulder that sent Neftali Feliz to the disabled list over the weekend and now Darren O'Day has taken to Facebook to announce that he'll also be out of action for the next stretch.
Headed to the DL for a torn labrum in my left hip. Beyond that, I dont know much. Hopefully recovery will be quick, and I'll be back on the mound in no time.
The club hasn't made an official announcement as yet beyond saying O'Day is seeing a specialist, but we're inclined to believe O'Day. For one thing, it is his hip and his livelihood and, for another, this isn't coming as a big surprise. We've known that O'Day's hip has been bothering him for some time and if there were any way for him to fight through the pain, he'd probably be doing it right now. He did pitch on Tuesday night and did well, but that doesn't seem to have eliminated all concern.
O'Day has been one of Jon Daniels's most successful acquisitions since he was claimed off waivers from the Mets in 2009. He's posted a 2.02 ERA in 125 innings since joining the team with a particular affinity for getting righties out with his sidearm delivery. So far this year he's got a 2.45 ERA in eight appearances.
It won't be easy for the Rangers to cover for him. Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes appear to be set as the interim closers while Feliz works his way back to the big leagues. Dave Bush and Brett Tomko are the long men while neither Cody Eppley nor Pedro Strop have spent any time in high leverage situations.
If O'Day does have a torn labrum, he would likely need surgery that would keep him out for a long time. Current Astros starter Brett Myers missed most of the 2009 season with the Phillies after surgery and Mariners closer David Aardsma hasn't pitched this year after having an operation over the winter.
That kind of long absence will almost certainly kick up speculation that Alexi Ogando will make the move back to the bullpen from the rotation. We've discussed some of the difficulties involved in such a move before and the pressure on the Rangers pitching staff will only increase with O'Day out of the picture.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com predicts the team will elevate Ryan Tucker to take O'Day's place on the roster, which would also necessitate making a move with the 40-man roster because Tucker isn't currently on it. He would join Bush, Eppley and Tomko as pitchers on the active roster who weren't on the 40-man when spring training began.