CHICAGO — Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold, activated off the disabled list before Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox, was immediately in the starting lineup, playing left field and batting eighth.
Reimold has been limited to 32 games this season, and his previous game with the Orioles has been May 11, after which he went on the disabled list with a lingering right hamstring strain that had bothered him since spring training.
"I expected it to take a little bit of time to heal up and then get the at-bats that I needed," Reimold said. "The team was playing well, guys were hitting, playing well, when I wasn't here. So there wasn't a huge rush to get back. Just wanted to make sure everything was good to go before I came here."
Reimold struggled early in the season, hitting .188/.257/.327, but he said he's relieved the injury is finally behind him.
"It definitely helps when you physically feel OK," Reimold said. "So, I'm glad it's behind me and I can just not worry about it. Stay on top of it, do preventive things so it won't pop up again and just get back to playing."
In his 12-game minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie, Reimold batted just .196/.255/.304, but he was 7-for-19 in his final four games there.
With the Orioles facing three lefties this series — John Danks started Tuesday and Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, respectively — the right-handed Reimold will likely see plenty of playing time. The right-handed hitting Danny Valencia was also in the lineup Tuesday, starting as the designated hitter.
"I just think what you get back into, in a good way, with guys like Danny and Nolan is you want to create situations where they play," manager Buck Showalter said. "You don't want them to sit around forever. I want Nolan to get his feet wet. … I just want to go into the All-Star break with a good idea of what we have and what we don't have and what we can expect from these guys. It's encouraging to be getting some of these guys back."
In 14 games this season against left-handed pitching, Reimold entered the night hitting .242/.265/.424.
The Orioles' acquisition of right-hander Scott Feldman, who will make his debut for the team Wednesday night, allowed them to shuffle their tarting rotation over the next three days.
Feldman scheduled to pitch for the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, but he now will work on six days rest.
Feldman is 4-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 14 career games (eight starts) against the White Sox, but he is 2-1 with a 6.23 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Pitching Feldman on Wednesday — along with the Orioles' off day Monday — allows the team to start left-hander Zach Britton on regular rest in Thursday's afternoon series finale in Chicago and then to push back right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, originally slated for Thursday, to Friday's series opener in New York.
That would give Gonzalez a full week of rest. And Gonzalez has had success at Yankee Stadium, where he is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts.
"He always seems to benefit from some extra rest," Showalter said of Gonzalez. "And it fits well. I just didn't want Scotty to sit around for a week between pitching. He's already working on some extra time."
Chen still rehabbing
Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, will make at least one more minor league rehabilitation start. He is scheduled to pitch Thursday for Double-A Bowie at Harrisburg.
The Orioles hope Chen can reach the 90-pitch mark Thursday and then rejoin the starting rotation next week. In his first outing at Bowie on Saturday, Chen allowed four runs on five hits over five innings and threw 79 pitches, 56 of them strikes.
"I'm hoping that's his last start there," Showalter said. "That kind of figures into some things we're doing, too. We had to get through his first outing there to see where we were in order to push the timeline a little bit up on this trade."
Orioles bullpen coach Bill Castro was with Chen for his first rehab start and recommended one more outing.
"I want to be fair to him and to our team in the bullpen," Showalter said. "Billy thought he was really close and needed one more start to be sure. … The last thing I told him was 'Go down there and win. Go down there and pitch like you're trying to win that game for Bowie.'"
Around the horn
The Orioles will make a roster move before Wednesday's game to officially add Feldman to the 25-man roster. ... In his second game since returning from the disabled list, Brian Roberts started at second base Tuesday and homered in his first at-bat. He had started Sunday's game as the DH. … Former Orioles DH Jim Thome was hired to be a special assistant to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, the team announced Tuesday. … Chris Davis' 12 homers in June gave him at least nine in three straight months, the first Oriole to accomplish that since Rafael Palmeiro in 2008 (May through July). No Orioles player has done it four straight months. … Manny Machado entered Tuesday's game leading the majors with 38 doubles and Davis was leading the majors with 31 homers. The last time teammates led those categories outright for a season was 1927, when the New York Yankees' Lou Gehrig had 52 doubles and Babe Ruth hit a then-record 60 homers. ... Catcher Steve Clevenger, acquired by the Orioles in their trade with the Cubs on Tuesday, led Mount St. Joseph to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball championship in 2004, the Gaels' first title since 1987. Then a shortstop, he led the team in batting average (.500), runs scored (36), RBIs (32), doubles (15), walks (15), on-base percentage (.563) and slugging percentage (.760).
twitter.com/EddieInTheYardCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun