Here’s some discouraging news for the Orioles as they attempt to hang around in the American League Wild Card race.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Darren O’Day was sent for tests today to determine the cause of soreness and numbness in the index and middle fingers of his pitching hand. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that the issue initially cropped up “one to two weeks ago,” but has become more frequent of late.
O’Day had both his hand and elbow tested as doctors attempt to find out whether the issue is vascular, structural, or nerve related. The sidearmer will not travel with the team to Toronto later tonight, but depending upon the diagnosis, Showalter didn’t rule out the possibility that he could rejoin the team at some point during their road trip.
O’Day has been an important cog in the Orioles’ bullpen over the past two seasons, posting a 2.28 ERA and 126/28 K/BB ratio in 126 1/3 innings. That’s hard to replace.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.