By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
2:08 PM EDT, May 18, 2013
The Orioles made several moves before Saturday's game, with one high-profile player hitting the disabled list and another getting a recall to the major leagues.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, who has struggled to hit in the early season and hasn't played since May 11, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to last Sunday, with a strained right hamstring.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta, the club's 2012 Opening Day starter who pitched in four games this year before being demoted to Triple-A Norfolk in April, was recalled and was in the bullpen Saturday night.
The Orioles also made a couple of expected moves: Saturday's starter, Jair Jurrjens, had his contract selected from Norfolk, meaning he was added to the 25-man and 40-man rosters. Brian Roberts, who hasn't played since April and is sidelined indefinitely after hamstring surgery earlier this month, was moved from the 15-day to 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Jurrjens.
Reliever Alex Burnett, who allowed three runs in one-third of an inning Friday night, was optioned to Norfolk.
Showalter said the Orioles had kept quiet Reimold's lingering hamstring problem — which dates to spring training — for game strategy purposes. But he said the outfielder had been limited off and on for a while and the club finally decided to give him prolonged rest.
“I didn't know really about the DL until” Friday, Reimold said. “It was kind of suggested to me. I told him I could probably keep grinding it out and keep playing or we discussed the options. And I've already had seven days where I haven't played. We could take those days and retroactive it and take care of it once and for all. We discussed it for a little bit and that'' the conclusion we came to.”
Said Showalter: “The cold weather was a challenge for him. At the end of spring he was feeling pretty good about it. Once we got into some of this weather, anytime he would make quick bursts, he would feel it up high, so we'll give it a shot and see if we can get it cleaned up.”
Because he hasn't played in a week, Reimold is eligible to come off the disabled list May 27, the first of a two-game series at Washington. But that might not happen — partially because Reimold will likely need some at-bats in minor league games to regain his timing.
“He's going to stay here through this homestand, and then see where we are,” Showalter said. “I'd love to think that during the homestand the hamstring clears up enough so that he could get some at-bats, but I'm not counting on that.”
Reimold, who missed most of last season because of a neck injury that required surgery, battled back to start in left field Opening Day. But he has struggled most of this season, hitting .188 with four homers and nine RBIs in 31 games. Showalter said Reimold isn't bothered by the hamstring while hitting, but he's been more tentative on the base paths because of the injury.
“It's obviously disappointing,” Reimold said. “I thought I'd be playing better, too. But it's probably for the best in the long run, the big picture, to get it taken care of and come back and feel fresh and get another crack at it.”
Showalter said he gave Reimold the option of attempting to play through the discomfort or allowing it to heal fully.
“I wouldn't say [he's] down, but obviously nobody wants to go on the DL,” Showalter said. “At the end of the day, he asked me what I want [him] to do, and I said I'm going to do whatever you want me to do. … The problem is I can't tell you whether this period will clear it up completely, but I'm frustrated for him.”
After three starts in the minors, and one skipped game because of shoulder tightness, Arrieta is back with the Orioles.
“Jake was scheduled to pitch [Saturday at Norfolk]. He's had  days off,” Showalter said. “He provides the most length [of bullpen candidates] and you always want to have some length there.”
Arrieta, 27, was 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts this year before being demoted to Norfolk in April. He was 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts for the Tides, but he hasn't pitched since May 7. He threw consecutive workday sessions Wednesday and Thursday, and said he is fine.
“I developed a little stiffness a few starts ago. It's something that has been manageable,” Arrieta said. “They wanted to give me a few days, kind of push me back a little bit. I've stayed on top of it as much as I can.”
Arrieta said he believes he has overcome the mental roadblocks that hurt him in the majors and that he's ready to help the team in the bullpen or rotation, whatever is needed.
“I went down there and really relaxed,” said Arrieta, who has started in 62 of his 68 big league appearances. “I took the emotions completely out of it where there were guys on base or nobody on base. That translated to pretty solid results, and I was throwing a lot more strikes that way as well.”
Showalter wouldn't commit to what will happen with Arrieta if he is not needed to pitch out of the bullpen this weekend. Monday's game against the New York Yankees is Freddy Garcia's turn to start, but Showalter hasn't fully committed to Garcia yet — saying only that it is Garcia's spot “for now.” Tuesday would be Miguel Gonzalez's turn to start if the blister on his right thumb has healed enough to allow him to pitch.
“Right now, [Arrieta] is here to help us in the bullpen. And we'll see what Monday brings. I shouldn't say Monday, wherever those days fall,” Showalter said. “As long as Gonzo has a good work day [Sunday], we are leaning toward him on Tuesday.”
Around the horn
Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson turned 76 on Saturday. … In his Orioles debut Saturday, Jurrjens faced Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez. In Jurrjens' major league debut on Aug. 15, 2007, while with the Detroit Tigers, he also faced Hernandez, who at the time was known as Fausto Carmona. … The Orioles allowed at least 17 hits in consecutive games Wednesday and Friday for just the fourth time in club history. They have never done it three straight times. … Reliever Daniel McCutchen, who was suspended in the minors for testing positive for a banned substance, will be eligible to return May 29 at Norfolk. … Season-plan holder Stasya Zarling threw out the ceremonial first pitch Saturday. And then her boyfriend, Jeff Besma, proposed to her on the field. Zarling said yes.
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