Outfielder Nolan Reimold could find home in batting order's second slot

When Nolan Reimold returns to the Orioles, he could bat in the No. 2 spot.

The return of outfielder Nolan Reimold, whose contract is expected to be purchased by the Orioles this week as they face the Boston Red Sox, is interesting in many ways.

As well as Reimold has played at Triple-A Norfolk -- he is 19-for-45 (.422) in his past 14 games -- the Orioles weren’t going to bring Reimold up unless they saw him as a long-term solution.

He’s not going to be on a shuttle between the big leagues and the minors because he can’t be. He can’t be sent back down to Triple-A without clearing waivers.

At the same time, if the Orioles send left-handed reliever Cesar Cabral to make room for Reimold as expected, the addition of Reimold puts the Orioles in the same situation as they were in before designating Alejandro De Aza. They will have six outfielders on the 25-man roster, none of whom can be sent to the minor leagues.

But the Orioles do need some corner outfield help. They also need some help in the top part of their batting order, specifically at the No. 2 spot.

Jimmy Paredes had a lock on the second spot for a while, but now that his bat has cooled and he’s been dropped in the batting order, the Orioles have struggled to find consistency in that spot.

Over the last nine games, the No. 2 hitter in the order is just 6-for-35 with 11 strikeouts. Here’s a breakdown of those games. The Orioles have used four hitters in that spot.

May 30 vs. Rays: T. Snider 0-for-4 1 K
May 31 vs. Rays: J. Paredes 0-for-4 2K
June 1 at Astros: D. Lough 1-for-4 1K
June 2 at Astros: T. Snider 1-for-3
June 3 at Astros: D. Lough 0-for-4 1 K
June 4 at Astros: D. Young 0-for-4 3 K
June 5 at Indians: T. Snider 2-for-4 1 K
June 6 at Indians: D. Young 1-for-4
June 7 at Indians: T. Snider 1-for-5 2 K

Reimold could become another option, especially given his on-base capabilities. Reimold posted a .351 on-base percentage this season at Norfolk.

He’s also posted a .356 on-base percentage in 16 career major league games hitting in the No. 2 spot.

The addition of Reimold could also allow the Orioles to slide Manny Machado, who has batted leadoff for the majority of the season, down to the No. 2 spot, where Machado hit for most of his All-Star season in 2013.

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