Showalter Rooting For Reimold In Left For Orioles
As Buck Showalter wandered around an Orioles sponsor event this month, he ran into Nolan Reimold’s wife. She playfully put in a small plug for her husband’s chances to play left field.
After a nightmarish offensive and defensive 2010 season during which he was sent to Triple-A Norfolk to spend most of the summer, Reimold rebounded fairly well during 87 games with the Orioles in 2011, batting .247 with a .328 on-base percentage, 13 home runs and 45 RBIs.
Shortly after the sponsor event, Showalter said at the Orioles' annual FanFest that the ball was now in Reimold’s court. The Orioles parted ways with both Felix Pie and Luke Scott during the offseason, two players that had made it difficult to get time in left field. The Birds signed Endy Chavez, but Reimold shouldn’t face too much challenge from him for the position.
"With Nolan, it's that time," Showalter said. "Nolan knows that. He's got the health issues behind him and whatever other issues might have been a challenge that everybody faces. I've got a good feeling about Nolan this year. He knows it's about the production on the field. I'm not going to say we're going to part the waters … but I want him to be our left fielder. I want him to grab it and go. He can bring what we need."
Told of Showalter’s comments, Reimold was humbled.
"That's great to hear,” Reimold said. "I feel like I can contribute the most to the team when I'm out in left. I'll keep trying to work and improve on my weakness and prepare to have a good year."
Reimold closed out the 2011 season in a dramatic fashion, hitting a game-tying single during the season finale against the Red Sox. A few minutes later, he scored the winning run on a Robert Andino single.
"I downloaded on iTunes the whole game," Reimold said. "It was a fun moment in the year, my career and it was a highlight so far. I enjoyed watching it and reliving the experience."
The Orioles have not yet squared away who will be in the designated hitter slot in the lineup. Because of his power and his somewhat regular defensive miscues, some have speculated that Reimold could be the long-term answer.
"I'll do whatever the teams asks," Reimold said, "but I think most like to play the field and get to DH occasionally. Whatever's asked of me, I'll do."
Posted Jan. 29, 2012