There are several players that need to step up their games and show what they can do in what is left of this Orioles season. One player I put in that category is outfielder Nolan Reimold.
Reimold is finally getting to start just about every day in left field and he needs to start looking more like the player the Orioles saw in 2009 than what he has shown the past two years.
In 2009 in 104 games, Reimold hit .279 with 15 homers, 45 RBIs and an .831 OPS in 358 at bats. He was the American League Rookie of the Month that June and when his season ended early in mid-September due to an Achilles tendon injury, he was leading AL rookies in homers, on-base percentage, slugging, walks and total bases, and was second in batting average. That season, he hit .312 against AL East opponents.
Reimold's stock was on the rise. But it has taken a hit since then.
In 92 major league games since the start of 2010, over 274 at-bats, he is batting .212 with 10 homers, 34 RBIs and an OPS in the .660 range.
This year, Reimold is batting .215 with seven homers and 20 RBIs over 158 at-bats. But he is hitting just .185 since July 1 with an on-base percentage around .250.
That is a lot of numbers to throw out there to show that Nolan's performance has fallen off. I remain a believer that Reimold can get it done at this level and that he has some big-time power potential, but it's go time for Reimold right now.
As it stands today, the Orioles have an opening next year in left field. He can try and change that assessment, but the games are dwindling.
Reimold has been shaky on defense in left field. He needs to get better there, but I still don't understand how the Orioles brass had Reimold play mostly right field all through his minor league career, then moved him to left just about when he got to the majors.
Reimold wasn't moved to left until when he started the 2009 season at Triple-A and he was called to Baltimore after just 25 Norfolk games. Over his time in the minors, he has started more than 300 games in right field and just 33 in left.
With Nick Markakis set in right, that was a terrible decision to play Reimold in right all that time in the minors. I have seen Reimold play top-notch defense in the minors, but he is still learning left field on the job and the organization should have had him in left the whole time before he got to Baltimore.
But right now, Reimold needs to get his offense going. It's not like we have to wonder if he can do it; we've seen him do it. But he better not wait too much longer.