Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
The Baltimore Orioles are close to reaching an extension with reliever Darren O'Day to avoid arbitration.
Baltimore Orioles are close to a deal that would extend reliever Darren O'Day for two years with an option for 2015,
O’Day made 69 appearances in relief last season, pitching 67 innings with a 2.28 ERA. He had a career best walk rate, giving up just 1.9 walks per nine while striking out 9.3, on his way to his best ever marks in FIP, xFIP and nearly every other advanced metric.
While the side-arming righty did face a majority of right-handed hitters, he was effective against lefties as well, striking out 20 of the 93 left-handed hitters he faced while walking just three.
Along with closer Jim Johnson, O’Day was key component to the Orioles extremely effective bullpen in 2012. The team had the third lowest ERA of any American League bullpen and that was a major factor in the Orioles surprise playoff run last year.
By Win Probability Added (WPA) the Orioles bullpen was historically good, adding almost 13 wins to the team’s total. They thrived in high leverage situations, shutting opponents down in 156 such chances while blowing just 54. Apart from Johnson, O’Day was the pitching most responsible for this late inning success, so it’s not surprising that the Orioles are looking to keep him around past his arbitration window.