The Texas Rangers placed right-handed setup pitcher Darren O’Day on the 60-day DL today with a torn labrum in his left hip.
Aside from one of the best chants in baseball when he pitches, O’Day had become a viable part of the Rangers’ bullpen. With Alexei Ogando moved to the rotation, combined with Mark Lowe’s ineffectiveness and Neftali Feliz’s injury, O’Day was arguably the best righty left in the bullpen.
Apparently O’Day has had this injury for years, but it flared up after his scoreless inning Tuesday night, prompting the Rangers to place him on the disabled list.
Analysis: With 6 wins and a 2.03 ERA last season, O’Day was a decent option for those fantasy owners who like to play the middle-relievers-as-a-starter strategy. But through 7.1 innings in 2011, he had walked 4 batters and given up 7 hits. He walked 12 all of last year in over 60 innings.
This move won’t affect too many fantasy owners, since he was owned in just 5% of Yahoo Leagues (far more than most middle relievers), but it does thrust Pedro Strop into a more prominent role. Strop has strong strikeout/inning potential, with a 10.9K /9 IP over his minor league career. He’s struggled with command so far in 2011 with 6 walks in 6 innings, but has struck out 8 and only allowed 2 hits.
Strop is worth keeping an eye on, as his strikeout per inning rate is very valuable in rotisserie leagues.
Projection (Strop): 48 innings, 3 wins, 3 saves, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 60 strikeouts