Orioles notebook: Reimold leaves team to get treatment on bulging disk

Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will be sidelined for at least two more games with a bulging disk in his back, but the club is hopeful that the diagnosis explains the health problems the 28-year-old has been experiencing this season.

Including Tuesday night, Reimold has missed six of the club's past 12 games, including four consecutive April 21-25, because of severe neck spasms. Although he was dealing with lingering neck discomfort, Reimold had started the Orioles' past five games, but after getting to the team hotel after Monday's contest, Reimold experienced tingling in his hands and contacted head athletic trainer Richie Bancells.

Reimold "had some tingling and numbness in his fingers, which is common with a bulging disk," manager Buck Showalter said. "And Richie got him on a train this morning back to our people to look at it."

Team doctors in Baltimore diagnosed the bulging disk and are treating it with anti-inflammatory medication. If all works as hoped, Reimold could join the team for the series against the Boston Red Sox that begins Friday, Showalter said.

"We're going to try a Medrol Dosepak to see if we can get the swelling to go down. There's a potential for it that he could join us in Boston to play," Showalter said. "The doctor's recommendation is just let it quiet down there. Hopefully, it sounds worse than it actually is. If he doesn't get relief from it, then we'll see what the next step is."

Reimold, who is hitting .313 with five homers and 10 RBIs, might finally have an answer as to what was causing the spasms.

"I think that's what they are thinking," Showalter said. "It all kind of works off the same thing. When your body spasms like that, it's trying to tell you something. But it resolved to a point where he could play. We waited one extra day just to be on the safe side. It cropped back up again."

Brooks unveiling postponed

The Orioles have moved Brooks Robinson's statue unveiling from May 12 versus the Tampa Bay Rays to Sept. 29 versus Boston because Robinson, 74, is dealing with health issues, partially stemming from falling backward off a stage in January.

"I am sorry I am unable to be there for the original scheduled unveiling of the Brooks Robinson statue," Robinson said in a team news release. "My wife, family and I have looked forward to this day for a long time. Due to health issues, I am unable to participate at this time. We are grateful that the Orioles have offered to reschedule the unveiling, and we look forward to celebrating with you in September."

The Orioles are dedicating the statues of their six Hall of Famers once a month this season, with the first having occurred Saturday when Frank Robinson was honored. The Orioles will now have two statue unveilings in September: Brooks Robinson's on the 29th and Cal Ripken Jr.'s on Thursday, Sept. 6, the anniversary of his record-breaking consecutive-games streak.

Fans who would like to exchange their May 12 tickets for the Sept. 29 game — or any nonpremium game this year — can do so before June 30 at the Orioles' box office or by sending the tickets to the club, attention: May 12 Exchange, 333 W. Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

The Brooks Robinson replica statue giveaway also will be moved to Sept. 29. The scheduled giveaway that day, the fans' choice bobblehead, will be given to the first 20,000 fans 15 or older at the Sept. 30 game — the club's home finale of 2012.

Wada deciding about surgery

Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will decide this week whether to have surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow or attempt to rest and rehabilitate it.

On Monday and Tuesday, Wada was examined in California by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who has performed surgery to remove bone chips from Wada's elbow in the past.

Yocum, the Los Angeles Angels' team doctor, confirmed the tear and has recommended surgery, according to Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Ultimately, the course of action will be determined by the 31-year-old Japan native.

The Orioles' Dr. John Wilckens had recommended only that Wada seek a second opinion. If he has elbow surgery, Wada will be shelved for roughly a year.

"It's the player's decision," Duquette said.

Duquette said the tear apparently occurred after Wada had his physical in December and before last week — though it wasn't thought to be the source of the elbow soreness that hindered Wada early in the spring. Signed to a two-year, $8.14 million deal this offseason, he has yet to throw a regular-season pitch and had one Triple-A outing before being shut down.

Reynolds sits in deep slump

Mark Reynolds, who is in a 3-for-31 slump, was not in the starting lineup Tuesday. The slugger hit .143 with a .206 slugging percentage in 19 April games. It was the first time in his career he hasn't homered in April and his first full month without a homer since September 2010.

"I played myself to where I am. I'm not producing, and therefore, I'm not playing," said Reynolds, who hit 37 homers last season. "It's the nature of the beast. And, on top of that, we are having a really strong start and I don't think Buck's going to jeopardize the team in order to get one individual going."

Showalter said he still believes Reynolds will contribute offensively for the Orioles — even leaving open the possibility that Reynolds could play the outfield in an emergency so he could get some at-bats.

"I'm not frustrated at him, I am frustrated for him," Showalter said.

Around the horn

Hitting coach Jim Presley is still hospitalized in New York City while attempting to pass a kidney stone that appears to be blocked. Presley missed three games in April because of another kidney stone, which he eventually passed. … Right-hander Chris Tillman started Tuesday for Triple-A Norfolk one day after he had been scheduled to pitch. Duquette wouldn't confirm whether Tillman was pushed back a day because he was originally considered for a promotion or for physical reasons.



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