As they continue to receive abysmal production in left field, the Orioles are prepared to add a familiar name to the outfield mix.
Multiple outlets reported Monday that outfielder Nolan Reimold is expected to have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk in time for the start of a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. Signed to a minor-league contract in the offseason, the 31-year-old had an opt-out clause he could exercise next month and the Orioles are still searching for solutions at the corner outfield positions.
Orioles left fielders are hitting just .200 with four home runs and a .550 on-base plus slugging percentage this season with a number of players failing to provide consistent production.
In 194 plate appearances for the Tides this season, Reimold was hitting .286 with two home runs, 12 doubles, 13 RBIs, five stolen bases, and a .739 OPS. After a slow start, the 2005 second-round pick is hitting .422 over his last 14 games in the International League.
A well-documented injury history prevented Reimold from realizing his once-encouraging potential when he hit .279 with 15 homers and an .831 OPS as a 25-year-old rookie with the Orioles in 2009. While other ailments hindered his development, Reimold’s career nearly came to an end in 2012 when he underwent spinal fusion surgery and needed a second fusion a year later.
After beginning the 2014 season on the disabled list, Reimold was designated for assignment by the Orioles and had stints with Toronto and Arizona before becoming a free agent in the offseason. Because he is out of minor-league options, the Orioles had been hesitant to call him up to the majors this season as they believe he would not pass through waivers if they tried to send him back to the minors.
Reimold hit .340 in the Grapefruit League to establish himself as a potential option for the 2015 club.
It remains unclear who the Orioles will remove from the 25-man roster to make room for Reimold as they are currently playing a man short with left-handed reliever Brian Matusz needing to serve five more games of an eight-game suspension. It’s possible that Baltimore could option a reliever to the minors and go with a six-man bullpen as the current bench has just three position players.
Current Baltimore outfielders David Lough, Travis Snider, and Steve Pearce are all out of minor-league options.