Good morning, Camden Chatters.
OK, Orioles fans, I want to hear you one last time:
O’Daaaaay O’Day O’Day O’Daaay! O’Daaaay! O’Daaaay!
After 15 seasons in the big leagues, Darren O’Day announced his retirement from baseball yesterday, wrapping up a productive career for the charismatic right-hander, much of it spent in Baltimore.
O’Day will always be fondly remembered in Birdland for his performance on the field and his personality off of it. He was one of the Orioles’ most effective relief pitchers ever, posting a tidy 2.40 ERA and remarkable 0.994 WHIP in in seven seasons with the club — including an All-Star 2015 campaign — and making the sixth-most appearances (391) in O’s history. Though he was never the Birds’ full-time closer, he served perhaps an even more valuable role as a late-inning fireman who could stifle opposing rallies, shutting down hitters with his distinctive submarining delivery and trotting off the mound to the aforementioned chant from raucous Camden Yards crowds.
O’Day’s arrival in Baltimore in 2012 coincided exactly with the Orioles’ transformation from annual laughingstock into a yearly contender, and O’Day played no small role in that renaissance. He was the anchor of a sensational bullpen that led the magical 2012 O’s to a 93-win season, and was a key reliever for all three of the Birds’ postseason clubs for the next half-decade. Along the way, he became a clubhouse and fan favorite for his goofy personality, from his love of the solo wheel to his instant-classic photo shoots.
O’Day’s Orioles tenure, unfortunately, ended with a whimper following a string of injuries in his later years. He was already on the IL with a season-ending injury when the collapsing 2018 Orioles tossed him into the Kevin Gausman trade with Atlanta to offload his remaining salary. Even still, O’Day battled back to pitch four more seasons in the bigs, including nine playoff appearances with the Braves. By ERA+, which adjusts ERA for ballpark and run environment, O’Day’s was the fifth-best in MLB history for a pitcher who worked 400 or more games. Not too shabby.
Congratulations on a great career, Darren. We’ll see you at your Orioles Hall of Fame induction in a few years.
Top 100 MLB prospects 2023: Keith Law’s rankings, with Corbin Carroll at No. 1 - The Athletic
Keith Law joins the O’s prospect hype with six baby Birds in his top 100, although he seems less enthused about Colton Cowser than other publications do, leaving him off his list. As always, just remember, Keith Law hates your favorite team.
The next No. 1 prospect?: Shortstop Jackson Holliday is ready for first full pro year - Steve Melewski
An already rich O’s farm system got much richer with #1 overall pick Jackson Holliday last season, and by this time next year he could be the best prospect in baseball. These are fun times, you guys!
Irvin expresses excitement about joining Orioles: ‘There’s so much good about this team’ - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The newest Oriole, Cole Irvin, knows all about the Orioles’ young talent, and he’s excited to have these guys on his side instead of playing against him. Especially Ryan Mountcastle, who Irvin says has "got my number since like Double-A."
Zack Greinke, Royals agree to one-year deal (source) - MLB.com
With Greinke off the board, all 21 players that the Camden Chat staff wrote about in our Orioles Free Agent Target series have signed, and not a single one with the Birds. We’ll try to do better next offseason. Or maybe the Orioles should.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And speaking of Cole Irvin, the new O’s lefty turns 29 today. Have a good one, Cole, and good luck in the black and orange. The only former Oriole born on Jan. 31 is right-hander Joel Bennett (53), who pitched two games for the 1998 Birds.
The Orioles generally don’t do much on Jan. 31. Their last transaction on this day was in 2020, when they claimed Travis Lakins Sr. off waivers from the Cubs. Lakins pitched parts of three seasons with the Orioles, and not particularly well, struggling to a 5.20 ERA in 52 games. The O’s cut him loose last October and he’s currently a free agent.