Outfielder Nolan Reimold feels “light-years” better than he did at this time last year, according to Buck Showalter. The manager said he could join the Orioles this season if he continues to progress well in his return from multiple neck fusion surgeries.
In his second rehab game for Bowie on Wednesday, Reimold served as the designated hitter. He was hitless in his first three at-bats. On Tuesday, he was 1-for-3 and played six innings in left field.
“This is the best he’s felt since the initial injury,” Showalter said. “He said it’s not even close. I’m hoping that he can come to us and be a contributor, but we’ll see. He has some hurdles to cross.”
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Reimold has played more than 40 games in only two of his five major league seasons — as a rookie in 2009 (104) and again in 2011 (87) — in part because of recurring injuries. Last year, he batted .195 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 40 games before undergoing a second neck/spine surgery in July.
In spring training, Reimold batted .263 with one home run and five RBIs in 14 games. He was expected to contribute immediately this season, but the Orioles placed him on the DL just before Opening Day after he began to experience a limited range of motion in his neck.