Chris Dickerson continues to take batting practice, and he did some throwing yesterday as the final test on his left shoulder. Assuming that he passed, it might be a good idea to put him in today's lineup for the series finale against the Blue Jays that wraps up the season's first half.
Dickerson is 6-for-10 lifetime against Toronto right-hander Josh Johnson, which is one reason. And Nolan Reimold is 6-for-27 with a home run and 11 strikeouts since coming off the disabled list, which is another.
Reimold heard scattered boos yesterday after striking out for the third time in three at-bats, which lowered his average to .195 with a .250 on-base percentage and .336 slugging percentage this season.
One leather-lunged spectator sitting in front of the press box suggested a destination for Reimold that's south of Baltimore.
No, not that far south. He meant Norfolk.
Fans keep suggesting that the Orioles should option Reimold and I keep reminding them that he's out of options. He would have to be designated for assignment, clear waivers and be outrighted. There's been no indication that the Orioles are ready to go to that extreme. They love his power. And two of his biggest supporters have been owner Peter Angelos and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter would like to get Reimold steady at-bats and make a determination on him. At the same time, Henry Urrutia is batting .365/.427/.531 with 20 doubles, seven homers and 43 RBIs in 67 games at Double-A Bowie and Norfolk.
Can you hear him knocking?
Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette haven't revealed a date for Urrutia's arrival in Baltimore. They had enough trouble getting him out of Haiti. But they've acknowledged that it's getting closer.
Could it be immediately after the break? After Urrutia bats fifth Sunday for Team World in the Futures Game?
Not to rain on the Urrutia parade, but keep in mind that we're talking 260 at-bats combined in the Eastern League and International League. Don't automatically assume that he's going to tear up the American League. Maybe yes, maybe no.
Another question: Would Reimold be in danger of losing his roster spot if the Orioles select Urrutia's contract? They would be subtracting a right-handed hitter for another left-hander. They already have Dickerson and Ryan Flaherty. And Urrutia figures to get most of his at-bats as the designated hitter.
Flaherty could be optioned, which would allow him to play every day instead of rot on the bench. He pinch-hit for Reimold yesterday and singled. Someone had to point him to home plate.
Flaherty hasn't started since July 5. Am I the only one who's done the math and figured out that he's 16-for-37 with four home runs in his last 13 games? Folks, that's a .433 average.
Anyway, we'll find out whether Dickerson is back in the lineup today.
Nate McLouth is 2-for-14 with six strikeouts against Johnson, but he'll probably be in left field and atop the order.