Nolan Reimold hasn't played in a game since last Wednesday, and he hasn't gotten an at-bat since June 19, which was eight games ago. The reason? The Orioles simply haven't been facing any left-handed pitching. The Orioles have faced right-handed starters in six consecutive games and 11 of their past 13 contests. They are scheduled to get Kyle Lohse, Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook -- all right-handed pitchers -- against the St. Louis Cardinals. They'll then go to Atlanta, where they are tentatively lined up to face Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson and Brandon Beachy, again all right-handers. And in the Atlanta series, the Orioles will have Vladimir Guerrero's right-handed bat back on the bench because they lose the DH. I'd never advocate for somebody to get demoted, and I'm certainly not going to do that with Reimold, who I feel is a major league player who can help this club. However, I think it's fair to ask: If Orioles manager Buck Showalter continues to go with either Luke Scott or Felix Pie in left field against right-handed pitching, is Reimold better served getting daily at-bats for Triple-A Norfolk or sitting primarily on the bench for two weeks at a time? I know what my answer is, but I'll let you decide.

The Orioles haven't had a starting pitcher get through seven innings since Jake Arrieta did it June 10 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and they have played 14 games since. They've been able to mostly get away with it since they've had five off days this month, giving the bullpen periodic rest. But those days are over. Starting tonight, the Orioles play 13 consecutive days before the All-Star break, and 10 of those are against offenses (St. Louis, Texas and Boston) that enter today ranked in the top five in the major leagues in runs scored. The Orioles simply have to get more from their starters, both in terms of quality and length. Jim Johnson, who had a serious elbow injury last season, is currently first in the American League and second in all of baseball in innings pitched by a reliever. I don't know if his two bases-loaded walks Sunday were a result of fatigue, plate umpire Alan Porter's thimble-sized strike zone or just a bad command day. Either way, his workload has to be a concern for Orioles officials. Same goes for Koji Uehara, who has an extensive injury history. The only way to get those appearances down is for the starters to get into the seventh or eighth inning more consistently or for a couple of other relievers to prove that they can be relied on later in the game. Alfredo Simon's imminent return certainly won't hurt. (UPDATE): The Orioles haven't made a final decision yet, but it appears that they'll activate Simon from the disabled list before tomorrow night's game.

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Just to weigh in on my colleague Dan Connolly's blog yesterday about who should represent the Orioles in the All-Star Game: The reality is that a last-place team like the Orioles is probably getting only one guy in the game. That has happened five straight years and in nine of the past 10 seasons. If that stays true to form, I just can't see how the Orioles' one rep isn't center fielder Adam Jones. He is in the top six of AL outfielders in batting average (.294), home runs (13), RBIs (45), slugging percentage (.486) and hits (84). He's also hitting .318 with runners in scoring position and playing a Gold Glove center field. I could certainly see All-Star manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers going in a different direction. After all, Matt Wieters is in the top four among AL catchers in average (.262), RBIs (33), slugging percentage (.408) and on-base percentage (.316), and he has thrown out more base runners than anybody else. J.J. Hardy doesn't have the at-bats to officially qualify, but he's been one of the most productive shortstops in the AL by any measure. And while Johnson and Uehara deserve consideration, you don't see too many setup guys from last-place teams getting the call. Barring something unforeseen over these next five games before the team is selected Sunday, my choice would be Jones.

The St. Louis Cardinals have never played at Camden Yards, but their manager, Tony La Russa, certainly has a history with Showalter. Back in 1992 when La Russa was with the Oakland Athletics and Showalter was at the helm of the New York Yankees, the two got into a little shoving match as part of a bench-clearing incident between the clubs. I'd love to pass along a clip of that, but I couldn't find one. One other note about the matchup: The Orioles and Cardinals have met just once, in 2003, when St. Louis took two of three games at old Busch Stadium. The interesting part of that series was Orioles shortstop Deivi Cruz went 8-for-13 with three doubles, three homers and seven RBIs in the series. That had to be the highlight of his Orioles' career.

Orioles top prospect Manny Machado is no longer there, but the website stadiumjourney.com still gives you plenty of reasons to visit the Delmarva Shorebirds' Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. They recently reviewed the ballpark experience here.

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