PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Nolan Reimold has played all spring, hoping he'd be able to start the season on the active roster. Instead, the Baltimore Orioles are going to place him on the disabled list.
Reimold has had two surgeries to repair a herniated disc in his neck over the past two years, and has batted .263 with a home run and five RBIs this spring.
"He still can't play the outfield comfortably so we are still trying to make sure, got to get him all the way healthy. Hopefully, with a little more time. He's going to probably start the season on the disabled list," manager Buck Showalter said.
Reimold twice played the outfield and it didn't turn out well.
"The two times he tried, looking up bothered him some. You probably got to be able to look up to play the outfield, depending on your pitching staff. But this buys us some time to get it back hopefully. He will take a few days off and then start hitting and see where it is, to try to get everything to quiet down. He's more sore than anything," Showalter said.
Reimold isn't down about starting on the DL.
"Nolan agrees he's not where he needs to be. He's light years ahead of where he was at this time last year," Showalter said.
"He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let's face it, the guy has had two neck fusions. One that didn't get the results we hoped and one that seems like he's done real well with. The last four, five games he seems more comfortable."
Reimold has been limited to 56 games in 2012 and 2013.
"This guy missed two years. Now, we are trying to get him to the point where he doesn't think about it too much when he's hitting. He's almost full strength with his arm. Stuff that your back and vertebrae is supposed to do. It's pretty serious stuff obviously. I don't want to throw a wet blanket over it, he just needs a little more time," Reimold said.
The Orioles are likely to start the season with as many as five players on the major league disabled list; Sergio Escalona, Manny Machado and Carlos Peguero will probably join Michael Almanzar, who has left patella tendinitis, on the DL.
TILLMAN TUNES UP: Chris Tillman made his final start before Monday's opener against Boston, pitching 4 2-3 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits in Baltimore's 4-4 tie with the Tampa Bay Rays before 4,332 at Charlotte Sports Park Wednesday night.
Tillman was supposed to start last Friday against Atlanta, but was scratched because of the flu. In five starts this spring, he allowed 23 hits in 17 1-3 innings. Tillman gave up 11 runs, nine of them earned and struck out 15 while walking three.
"I would have liked to be better early on, but I was a bit rusty. Nine days. But I was able to find it there in the middle and I was happy with that. I was able to make an adjustment and I was able to mix most of my pitches," Tillman said.
Tillman said he's not obsessing about the opener.
"No, I've been focusing on getting myself ready. I think that's the most important thing. I'm happy coming out of this healthy and I'm ready to go," he said.
Delmon Young had two hits and two RBIs. Steve Lombardozzi had two hits.
The Orioles beat the Red Sox 5-4 at Fort Myers Wednesday afternoon. Miguel Gonzalez allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings. Showalter indicated he would be the starter in the season's fourth game Apr. 4 in Detroit.
Steve Clevenger hit his second home run of the spring.
CUTS: Baltimore cut four players after Wednesday afternoon's game. Right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson and outfielder Henry Urrutia were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Infielder Alexi Casilla and outfielder Quintin Berry were reassigned to the minor league camp.
The Orioles, who have 36 players in camp, won't make more cuts until Thursday, Showalter said.
COMING UP: The Orioles conclude their spring training schedule on Thursday night against Tampa Bay. Ubaldo Jimenez faces Alex Cobb.