Darren O’Day begins ‘ascent’ to potential return

Braves rehabbing reliever Darren O’Day is playing catch, a minor but tangible step in his possible comeback.

The righty, who missed most of last season with a hamstring injury, was limited to one game in spring training because of a forearm strain. 

“He’s playing catch,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s started his ascent back, which is good. He’s excited. He’s gotten all checked out, cleared. So he’ll start his throwing program and we’ll go from there.”

The Braves acquired O’Day in July as part of the Kevin Gausman deal. They took on his contract to pay less in prospects. Unfortunately for them, O’Day has been $9 million in sunk cost thus far in 2019.

O’Day had been shutdown for a large portion of the regular season. If he does return, he’d add a veteran resume: He recorded a 3.43 ERA across 64 games in his last full season (2017). 

But instead of being a reliable boost to the bullpen, as the team hoped, O’Day is simply a wild card who could potentially help in the second half.

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