SARASOTA, Fla. – Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold said Thursday that the decision to open the season on the disabled list was mutual and the best option to ensure he’s 100 percent before playing in regular season games.
Reimold played in just 40 games last season before having season-ending neck fusion surgery last July -- the second procedure was needed to correct the first surgery in 2012 -- but played in 14 games this spring, most of them at designated hitter, including one as recently as Tuesday before the decision was made to place him on the DL.
"I think Buck stressed it's not a new injury,” Reimold said. “I didn't do anything to it. It's just getting 100 percent from the surgery, the second neck surgery. Just want to make sure that I am 100 percent before I go out there and play again.
“I guess [it was] kind a mutual decision,” he added. “It’s best for me, best for the team. I think it’s best for everybody. From my point of view, it’s important for me when I play to play well and to finish strong rather than go out there and be in pain or uncomfortable early on. I think it’s the right decision from everyone’s point of view.”
Reimold played in just two games in the outfield this spring and has been trouble looking up for fly balls.
“I think the last thing that comes is the extension, the running and the pounding you take from running around every day, day in and day out, that can take its toll until its 100 percent. It just takes a while for the muscles to adjust and get back to normal again.”
“Where I'm at right now, I've progressed very well and I'm far ahead of schedule for anybody who's had this kind of surgery before,” Reimold said. “But it's not side to side. It's more like extension and the constant grind and pounding that a baseball season would take on you. What we do is make sure I can play the field every day before I come back, just to make sure it's OK. I have to be certain that I can play."
Reimold, who has played in just 56 games over the past two seasons, said that he didn’t know whether he’d be on the Opening Day roster a week ago.
“I wasn’t sure because I know they’ve got [David] Lough and [Nelson] Cruz playing left and I’ve been DHing. We also have a bunch of guys who can DH so I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen but this is the best decision to make sure I am recovered.
"I'm more tired about talking about it than anybody,” Reimold said. “I'm ready for these neck issues to be over and done with. If I look at it from where I'm at right now, I've progressed a lot from the beginning of spring training to now. So I will keep progressing and I'll be 100 percent in the near future."