Remember this guy?
The Braves acquired Darren O’Day along with Kevin Gausman before last year’s trade deadline. They knew O’Day was not going to be able to contribute in 2018 because of a severe hamstring injury, but they were okay with taking on his contract for two reasons: it meant they would give up less prospect capital, and because O’Day still had the opportunity to be a substantial contributor to the Braves bullpen in 2019.
Of course, spring training came this year, and forearm tightness emerged. That’s not something that sounds like it will keep someone out an entire season, but arm injuries are always taken with extreme caution when dealing with pitchers. Back in June, it was reported he began long-tossing and that he could return in August or September. And that timeline is still intact, as O’Day is scheduled to start his rehab assignment with the GCL Braves on Saturday.
Now, Atlanta is going to take this slow, but there is a chance we see him in September. More importantly, he could play a factor when things matter in October. O’Day has been a super effective reliever in his career, sporting a 2.56 ERA in 577 appearances. For a while, he was arguably the best reliever in baseball for the Orioles. If the Braves can get a fraction of that production, their already loaded bullpen will look even scarier.
Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley set to begin their rehab assignments this week
More good injury news from the Braves came today. Both Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley will begin their rehab assignments this week. Swanson will DH for Rome tomorrow, and Riley will play for Rome on Friday, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Hopefully, they can both get healthy and be back in the lineup by the time the calendar turns to September.