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Blog Entry

O'Day injury strains Texas bullpen

Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2011 4:41 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

Rangers relief pitcher Darren O'Day is headed to the disabled list with a torn labrum in his hip, reports ... Darren O'Day. Yes, gotta love the modern-day social media. O'Day posted this on his Facebook page Wednesday morning:

"Headed to the DL for a torn labrum in my left hip. Beyond that, I dont know much. Hopefully recovery will be quick, and I'll be back on the mound in no time."

Well, Wednesday afternoon, we know more and it's not good. He's headed to the 60-day disabled list and surgery is possible. (Dallas Morning News via Twitter)

With All-Star closer Neftali Feliz also on the shelf and Alexi Ogando in the rotation, that's three of the back-end bullpen arms the Rangers had planned upon by late March now not in the bullpen.

At present, the back-end has the ancient Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver -- who appears to be the top closing option with Feliz out. There are former starters Dave Bush and Brett Tomko as middle relief options. Pedro Strop and rookie Cody Eppley -- who looked good in his two-inning debut -- are left as the setup guys.

The bullpen hasn't been awful by any means this year. Rangers' relievers collectively have a 4.13 ERA, which is seventh in the AL. But now the anchor has been removed as has one of the better support men in O'Day (2.45 ERA in 7 1/3 innings).

To be very fair, Oliver, Rhodes, Strop, Eppley and Bush have been quite good -- albeit with limited time for some. It's just that as everyone gets bumped back one or two spots in his specific role in the bullpen, there's much less stability for the group as a whole. In turn, the starting pitchers may start to feel the strain as well, as they're expected to work deeper into games in hopes to not tax the new guys like Eppley and whoever replaces O'Day -- which looks like Ryan Tucker (ESPN Dallas ) -- or overwork the reliable veterans.

Feliz should be back by mid-May, and the guess is by then it will be a big reprieve from an area that evolved into a problem for the defending AL champs. If not, well, that's one deep staff.

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