While watching the Birds last week, I tweeted my excitement for Xaviery Avery when he recorded his first double, triple and RBI against the Yankees. I jokingly used the hashtag #NolanWho and quickly received a few annoyed responses from the Nolan Reimold fan club of Baltimore.
Nothing against Reimold, I was just excited to see what the 22-year-old could do at the big league level.
I’ve quickly become known as the guy that doesn’t like Reimold, but that’s neither a fair or true analysis of my thoughts on the Orioles left fielder. I don’t dislike him, I enjoy watching him play, I just don’t think he’s proven enough to believe he’s a legitimate big leaguer.
One of my most recent fond memories of watching the Birds live at Camden Yards was Nolan Reimold’s walkoff home run against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 27, 2009. I was at the Yard with my dad during the middle of the week for a day game when Reimold delivered the game-winner in the 11th inning. It was a cool moment to witness from the third baseline as Reimold rounded the bag and headed to home for the mobbing he was about to receive from his teammates.
But that was 2009 and I haven’t seen enough from Reimold over the past two-plus seasons to prove that he’s a real-deal big leaguer.
So I thought that in order to defend my point I would look back at Reimold’s career in Baltimore and justify my opinion. Here’s a timeline of Reimold’s career in Baltimore to date:
- May 14, 2009 – Reimold gets called up from Triple-A Norfolk. He recorded his first hit off of Royals pitcher Ron Mahay.
- September 17, 2009 – Over 104 games, Reimold hit .279 with 15 home runs and 45 RBI. He won the American League Rookie of the Month award in June.
- September 18, 2009 – The Orioles shut down Reimold for the remainder of the season due to a fraying in his left Achilles. He underwent a successful surgery and aimed to return on Opening Day 2010.
- April 7, 2010 – Reimold began the season for the Orioles in left field after an uncertain Spring Training.
- May 12, 2010 – The Orioles optioned Reimold to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Corey Patterson. In his first 28 games of the season, Reimold went 16-for-79 (.203 average) with two home runs and 10 RBI.
- September 1, 2010 – When rosters expanded in September, Reimold was called up. While down in Triple-A, Reimold hit .249, with ten home runs and 37 RBI in 94 games.
- October 1, 2010 - Reimold played 10 games for the Orioles after being called up, he hit .212 with a homer and four RBI.
- October 12, 2010 - Reimold turns 27-years-old.
- May 28, 2011 - The Orioles optioned Reimold to Triple-A Norfolk after spending most of the offseason working on a failed trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
- May 20, 2011 - Reimold gets recalled from Norfolk.
- May 26, 2011 - Reimold went 4-for-4 with two home runs, 4 RBI and a walk against the Royals in the O’s 6-5 win in 12 innings.
- June 7, 2011 - Reimold misses two games with neck spasms, likely the same he is experiencing this season.
- September 28, 2011 - The 2011 season concludes. In 87 games played at the big league level, Reimold finished the season with a .247 average, 13 home runs and 45 RBI.
- October 12, 2011 – Reimold turns 28-years-old.
- April 6, 2012 - Reimold begins the season with the Orioles in left field.
- April 16, 2012 - Reimold returns to the Orioles lineup after missing two games with hamstring tightness.
- April 26, 2012 - Reimold returns to the Orioles lineup after missing four games with neck spasms.
- May 4, 2012 - The Orioles place Nolan Reimold on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.
- May 11, 2012 - Reimold received an epidural injection and the Orioles announce that he will not return form the disabled list when he is eligible.
- May 15, 2012 - Buck Showalter informs the media that Reimold will receive a second epidural injection.
- May 21, 2012 - Reimold tells the MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko that his first epidural shot only helped to ease the pain he’s experiencing, not the numbness and weakness in his left thumb, arm and shoulder.
My opinion and point with Reimold’s career, is that he’s proven that he can provide some pop in the Orioles lineup, but hasn’t shown he can stay healthy enough to hold onto a spot. At 28-years-old, time is running out.
I’ve been asked if I think Reimold could become a Jayson Werth type player, who showed everyone that he could live up to expectations long after his time in Baltimore. My opinion is that his path will probably be closer to that of Lou Montanez, another former prospect whose career was plagued by inconvenient injuries.
As I’ve said here on BSR, on our podcast and numerous times on Twitter, I want to be wrong about Reimold. I hope that he stays healthy from here on out and shows that he can be the 40 home run hitter that Rick Dempsey says he can be. But I can’t keep justifying putting an injury plagued 28-year-old in left field when the 22-year-old could be getting big league experience.
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and Host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.