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Orioles

Nolan Reimold rejoins Orioles in Toronto

TORONTO — Nolan Reimold was back in an Orioles uniform and in the starting lineup Sunday, less than two weeks after the club designated him for assignment.

Reimold, who started in left field and batting eighth, could have gone elsewhere. He had the right to refuse an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk, but decided to go back to the minors with the promise he'd rejoin the Orioles when rosters expanded in September.

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"I wanted to stay in the organization, I didn't want to leave," Reimold said. "It was just a choice that I made and I feel like it was a good choice. I'm back here in September, so really I'm back right where I was before. So, not really too much has changed, just went down there and got a few at-bats and came back up."

Reimold hit .227 with .306 on-base and .340 slugging percentages, two home runs and eight RBIs in 39 games after being called up from a Triple-A Norfolk in June, but after playing in five straight games shortly after he joined the team, Reimold started in consecutive games just three times.

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"I've had opportunities to play," Reimold said. "You've got to capitalize on the chances you get, so that's just what I'm looking to do."

Reimold took advantage of Sunday's start, going 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the ninth inning and scoring two runs. He was the Orioles' only player with multiple hits.

In his most-recent stint in Norfolk, Reimold was 4-for-22, but drew 10 walks, posting a .438 on-base percentage in eight games with the Tides.

"He's always been a selective guy, something that every club is in need of," Showalter said. "He is a guy, he might take an 0-for-3 but he's on base a couple times."

Showalter said Reimold remaining healthy this season — he had two neck surgeries that cost him most of the 2012 and 2013 seasons — speaks well for his future.

"I still think he's only going to get better," Showalter said. "He's still young in games played. He hasn't had a lot, so I wouldn't close the book on Nolan. We're not ready to do that yet. We'll see. He's had quite a journey. … It's always going to be there in some form or fashion just because of the history and we know what happened. You're always aware of it, but for him to come back and basically be healthy all year, that's big for his psyche, especially going into next year.

"Hopefully, he finishes up strong."

Success down on the farm

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The Orioles could send three minor league affiliates to the postseason. Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk have clinched playoff berths by winning their divisions and short-season single-A Aberdeen enters the final game of their season on Monday one-half game out of first in their division.

"It's funny how when none of the teams win they say you're developing players, but when all the teams win, they say that winning is a part of development," Showalter said. "I think it's somewhere in between. You never let anything step in the way of developing players for the major league club, but when you play that many games, you like to get something for it."

Showalter, who follows the minor league system meticulously, said he was also impressed with the job done by former Orioles player Ryan Minor, who is managing low Class-A Delmarva (37-31), and by several of this year's draft picks — including Ryan Mountcastle (supplemental first-round), Ryan McKenna (fourth round), Jason Heinrich (fifth round) and Jaylen Ferguson (ninth round) — perform well for a Gulf Coast League team that's gone 34-25.

"Those guys are 17 and 18 years old playing every day in the Gulf Coast League and to finish eight or nine games above .500, that's pretty impressive," Showalter said. "And [they have] young pitching, too. That makes me feel good."

Orioles claim Wilkins, designate Cabral

The Orioles claimed Andy Wilkins off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday and designated left-handed reliever Cesar Cabral for assignment to make 40-man roster space.

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Wilkins, 26, played in 17 major league games for the Chicago White Sox last season, hitting .140/.178/.186. He spent this season at the Triple-A level in the Blue Jays and Dodgers organization, playing first base, third base, left field and right field. He hit .251/.315/.447 with 18 home runs and 79 RBIs between the two organizations.

Cabral pitched one scoreless inning for the Orioles over two relief appearances in early June. He was 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA in 45 relief appearances for Triple-A Norfolk and has allowed nine earned runs over his last 32/3 innings spanning five appearances with the Tides.

Around the horn

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is ready to return from the disabled list when he's eligible on Tuesday. Hardy — on the DL with a left groin strain — has been taking batting practice and doing normal pregame fielding and running activities for several days now. "He's going to be ready to go Tuesday," Showalter said. "He feels good. We knew he'd probably be ready for the DL period is over. He's ready. He'll be in the lineup on Tuesday." … Showalter said right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez isn't yet ready to resume throwing. The club is waiting for the soreness and swelling in Gonzalez's elbow to subside. Gonzalez is still doing rehab exercises on his shoulder and elbow. "He said he hasn't had that leap, that jump [forward], but we're not out there throwing every day, so there's really no way to tell," Showalter said. … With his sixth-inning RBI double Sunday, designated hitter Jimmy Paredes recorded his first RBI in 12 games. … Third baseman Ryan Flaherty has three homers over his past eight games. … Shortstop Manny Machado drew two walks Sunday, the sixth time this season he's walked multiple times in a game.

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard


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