A take on Reimold’s return and reliever additions

Wait, Jhonny Peralta won’t be playing left field next year for the Orioles, but Nolan Reimold might?

Plenty of fans have written Reimold off, and after seeing him play just 56 games the last two years, he’s become somewhat of a forgotten man around here.

But for a projected $1.2 million, the O’s are taking a low-risk gamble that Reimold may be able to stay healthy next year. Dan Duquette said yesterday that Reimold will be tendered a contract by the club for 2014.

I might be the last one left on the Reimold bandwagon, but I still see 30-homer potential if he’s healthy, and yes that is one big, huge if at this point. The O’s got positive reports on his latest comeback, which helped make the decision to tender him a contract a little easier.

I still remember how good Reimold looked at the beginning of 2012, but I can understand how others have long since forgotten or doubt that will ever happen again.

For now, the Orioles will be on the hook for somewhere around $1.2 million to see if Reimold can surprise his doubters and return to health and form in 2014. No, you can’t count on it, and I don’t think Duquette is, but he wasn’t ready to cut ties with the player yet, either.

Meanwhile, after seeing the Orioles acquire three relievers in the last week or so, you have to wonder if they are acquiring bullpen pitchers with the thought of trading other relievers at some point.

The Orioles added right-hander Brad Brach from San Diego yesterday for minor league right-hander Devin Jones. Jones was Single-A Frederick’s opening night starter last season and then made the rest of his starts for Double-A Bowie, going 4-7 with a 5.84 ERA. Meanwhile, Brach has been a strikeout pitcher in his career, averaging 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors and 10.1 in the majors with a fastball in the 92 mph range.

The Orioles now have five lefty relievers on their 40-man roster, counting Mike Belfiore, Kelvin De La Cruz, Chris Jones, Brian Matusz and Troy Patton. This doesn’t count T.J. McFarland, who appears headed back to a starter’s role, or Zach Britton, who is out of options which could potentially lead him to a bullpen role if he doesn’t make the opening day rotation next year. There is a bit of a surplus here and maybe a lefty reliever will be moved.

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