Darren O’Day has been in the major leagues since 2008, he was an All-Star in 2015, and he’s been to the postseason with Texas, Baltimore, and Atlanta. The well-traveled and well-decorated righty reliever signed with the Yankees this offseason, and his role in the New York bullpen is clear.
O’Day not only replaces Adam Ottavino as the Yankees reliever with an “O” last name, he’s also charged with doing what Ottavino did by embarrassing hitters with a break-the-internet slider.
So far, so good.
Tony Wolters, who joined the Pirates this offseason, isn’t the best-hitting catcher in baseball, but he’s a lefty hitter with classic platoon splits. O’Day, as a sidewinding righty pitcher, is hard to hit for everyone, but left-handed batters do tend to fare better against him.
Not this time, and if that’s what O’Day can do to Wolters, the three-batter minimum shouldn’t be much of a worry to him if opponents call on bench lefties to try to face him late in a game.
The saving grace for Wolters is that he only got hit in the upper thigh. On first glance, it looked like that two-strike swing and miss also racked up a pair of balls.
There’s still a couple of weeks until opening day for O’Day to get that worked out and become the most terrifying pitcher in baseball. Just what the rest of the American League needed, because the Yankees’ bullpen was already pretty … nuts.