By Dan Connolly
8:42 PM EDT, July 25, 2012
Mark Reynolds entered Wednesday night’s game hitting .206 with just eight homers this season. The corner infielder has homered at least 30 times each of the last three years and had a team-high 37 in 2011. But right now he is tied with Nick Markakis for sixth on the club. He’s hit two since June 23.
“I can’t put a finger on it. I work in the cage, my swing feels good, I feel comfortable at the plate and then it just doesn’t translate,” Reynolds said. “It’s tough being counted on to do something and you’re not doing it.”
Reynolds has been maligned much of his career for shaky defense and his massive strikeout totals. But he’s played a better first base lately and his 86 strikeouts in 233 at-bats are significantly down from his previous seasons.
Still, he’s in the starting lineup to provide power — something he is still hopeful will happen when he hits a hot streak.
“I am definitely a slow starter — not this slow normally,” said Reynolds, who missed two weeks in May with an oblique strain. “It’s kind of like the back nine of a golf outing. If you do [poorly] on the front, well, there’s always the back nine that can play really well. That’s kind of how I am looking at it right now. If I can come out and shoot five-under on the back nine, I can save the day, so to speak.”
The Orioles have been looking to add a hitter with on-base capabilities that can play a corner infield or outfield spot. That would create a further lineup logjam, which could make the struggling Reynolds the odd man out. But he isn’t worried about that.
“I’ve been around a long time, and there’s always things floated around, and 90 percent of the things rumored don’t happen,” Reynolds said. “You just take it day by day and when [July] 31st comes and goes, you’ll see where you’re at. I don’t even think about it, I don’t worry about it, you can’t control it.”
Long-time scout dies
Jim Gilbert, a longtime major league scout for the Orioles and a former Baltimore City Police detective, died in Hagerstown on Monday at age 82. Gilbert may be best known in Baltimore for managing the Oriolelanders, a high school showcase team that was sponsored by the Orioles. He and Cal Ripken Sr. also ran the Cal Ripken Baseball Camp at Mount St. Mary’s.
Around the horn
Reliever Matt Lindstrom, who hadn’t pitched since taking a liner off his left knee Friday, took the mound Wednesday in the third inning. … Robert Andino (left shoulder) is improving and is expected to go to Sarasota, Fla., to rehab next week when the Orioles head on their road trip. … Dr. James Andrews surgically repaired the labrum tear in Joel Pineiro’s right shoulder and also cleaned up shoulder fraying on Tuesday. Pineiro, who had signed a minor league deal in April but had barely pitched for the organization, is out for the season.
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