Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold, on the disabled list with a neck injury, said Tuesday that he still is experiencing tingling in his thumb and forearm and weakness in his left shoulder several days after undergoing an epidural injection.
“It's frustrating,” he said. “I don't know if I'll have a little improvement every day or wake up one day and have it be gone.”
There hasn't been enough improvement to speculate about when he will be able to start a rehabilitation program. Reimold becomes eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Wednesday, but it's starting to look like he won't be back before June.
He already has undergone a round of anti-inflammatory medication. The epidural injection could be the first of three shots, depending on the effectiveness of each one. Reimold said he did not know when and if he would have a second one, but manager Buck Showalter seemed to think that would be the next step.
“I’d be less than forthcoming if I didn’t [say] the prospect of a second injection was a probability,” Showalter said.
Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, was in Baltimore on Tuesday for the third time this year — this time to take part in a pre-game ceremony honoring Hunter Youngblood, the grand-prize winner in the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Essay Contest.
Robinson, educational programming consultant for Major League Baseball, was here this spring for a President’s Cup event and also was present when Frank Robinson was honored at Camden Yards with the first statue unveiled in the former center-field picnic area behind the bullpens.
She spent Tuesday visiting Youngblood and his fellow students at Piccowaxen Middle School in Charles County and speaking to them about the way her father overcame a history of institutional racism and opened major league baseball to African-American players.
She developed the Breaking Barriers program in 1997, during the 50th-anniversary celebration of her father breaking baseball’s color barrier.
“It’s based on my dad’s standing as a barrier breaker,” she said.
Thousands of students participate by writing essays about the barriers they have had to break. Youngblood’s essay chronicled his commitment to overcoming a learning disability.
The defense still rests
Showalter was asked during his pre-game news briefing whether there was anything he could do to improve the Orioles’ infield defense — a fair question after first baseman Chris Davis made a key error in Monday night’s game that helped the New York Yankees overcome a two-run deficit in the sixth inning.
“I sure hope so,” Showalter said. “It’s something we have to get better at. The majority of our errors have been throwing errors, but an error is an error.”
Davis came to Baltimore with a reputation as a very solid defensive first baseman but has not played up to his own expectations.
“I can’t be making errors like I made [Monday] night,” he said. “If you’re not swinging the bat well, you’ve got to bring something else [to the field]. It bothers me because I know my reputation over here, coming from the Rangers, was a guy who could really pick it defensively. And I haven’t had the greatest year defensively. … I went back and looked at the ball last night [on replay]. It was a tough hop, but it is still a play that has got to be made.”
Righty reliever Matt Lindstrom has a partially torn ligament in the middle finger of his pitching hand and will be evaluated by a hand specialist.
Lindstrom has been on the DL since feeling a pop in the finger while throwing a pitch in Thursday’s nightcap against the Texas Rangers. He told reporters he thinks he’ll be ready to pitch when he becomes eligible to come off the DL, but Showalter wasn’t willing to speculate about a timetable until after the examination.
“It’s good news from the standpoint that it’s not a full tear,” Showalter said, “since the time frame is a lot shorter.”
Reimold and Lindstrom will remain in Baltimore while the Orioles travel to Kansas City for a brief two-game series, then back for the weekend interleague series against the Nationals in Washington.
Left-hander Zach Britton threw 47 pitches over four innings and in an extended spring training game Tuesday, then went to the bullpen and continued to throw. He finished with 67 pitches and figures to step up from there when he makes his next start Monday.
Britton gave up two hits, did not allow a run and struck out four. He faced rehabbing Boston Red Sox major leaguers Jason Repko and Ryan Kalish in each inning.
Showalter has said Britton needs to work his way up to about 90 pitches before he heads out on an injury-rehabilitation assignment. That means he’s probably going to make two more appearances in Sarasota, Fla.
Around the horn
Second baseman Brian Roberts is diving for balls in the infield as he continues to make steady progress in his recovery from multiple concussions. “The trainers are treating a pretty good strawberry from sliding,” Showalter said. “That’s a good sign.” … Robert Andino was back in the leadoff spot on Tuesday night, and Xavier Avery hit ninth against CC Sabathia. ... The Orioles removed left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the restricted list and assigned him to short-season Single-A Aberdeen, according to Triple-A Norfolk’s Twitter account. ... Double-A Bowie placed outfielder Ronnie Welty, the Orioles’ Minor League Player of the Month for April, on the disabled list. Welty had batted .291 with six RBIs, one homer and seven doubles in 14 games for the Baysox.