SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will conduct their first workout today beginning at noon, but it seems anti-climatic.
They gathered for a mini-camp last month. Most of the team has already reported to camp this week. It’s not just pitchers and catchers.
Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon will take his physical today after agreeing to a three-year deal, inching the Orioles closer to their most significant signing of the offseason.
I talked to Nolan Reimold over the phone before the holidays. I talked to him at the mini-camp. I talked to him at FanFest. I talked to him yesterday at his locker.
I won’t take it personally if he files for a restraining order.
It’s all good with Reimold. His health and his outlook on the season.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to do something and your body not letting you do it or not being able to do it,” he said. “It’s been a process to get back to where I’m at. I’m looking forward to keep getting healthier, keep getting stronger. Bigger, stronger, faster.”
Reimold, who underwent corrective surgery in July to fuse two vertebrae in his neck, still expects to be ready for the first exhibition game on Feb. 28 in Port Charlotte.
“Yeah. I’m cleared for unrestricted activities. I’ve been doing that,” he said.
“The neck feels good. The one thing that’s a little different is I had the surgery a month later (than last year’s procedure), so the muscles around the neck are like a month behind where they were last year. I’m still doing my exercises and stuff. It should keep improving.
“It’s fine right now as it is and I can do everything, but that’s just one thing I keep in the back of my mind.”
It’s been a while since Reimold could enjoy playing baseball and everything that goes along with it.
“It’s a lot of fun to go out there and be part of a team and have a collective goal, which is obviously winning,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not helping the team, going out there and not performing well. Last year wasn’t a very good year for me. I feel like now I can help the team again. Last year, that obviously wasn’t the case.
“If you asked me the question would I start the year last year, I would have said no because I wasn’t strong enough, but throughout spring training it kept improving and ultimately I started the year. And it was supposed to keep getting better, when, really, it stopped and went backward. And that wasn’t the plan. The plan was to keep improving and not go backward, but that’s what happened.
“Blessing in disguise that we kind of caught it when we did instead of just sitting on it. Obviously, I and we had no idea what was happening.”
The Orioles have 11 outfielders listed on their camp roster, but Reimold won’t starve for at-bats. If he’s healthy, he’s going to get work in left field and be used as a right-handed designated hitter.
“Yeah, I haven’t been told otherwise,” he said. “They signed a lot of guys and there’s a lot of competition. That being said, it’s the major leagues. Every team, there’s a lot of competition everywhere. I’ll just go out there and see what happens.”