SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold wasn’t originally slated to play in today’s intrasquad game, but he talked his way into the batters box and left field.
“I sat down and talked to him today,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “He wanted to get out there and get some at-bats. He’s been a full-go since he got here. He’s been a full turn-loose. It’s just waiting on the strength to come back.
“It’ll be a process. You’re not always going to be able to dictate some of the things you can do like you can in an intrasquad game. It was his idea as much as it was ours.”
Showalter will check on Reimold today and see how he’s feeling.
“It’s getting a little better every day,” Showalter said. “We’re still testing to see what percentage he’s at. He’s not going to hurt it. There’s just some things he needs to do, I think mentally as much as physically.”
Kevin Gausman retired all four batters he faced, striking out Lew Ford and Chris Robinson. LJ Hoes grounded out, returned to the dugout and marveled at Gausman’s velocity.
“It was nice to get out there and have hitters in the box and get their feedback on what worked,” said Gausman, who threw mostly fastballs and mixed in three changeups. “It was definitely good to get that one out of the way. Now I can focus on not having jitters as much.
“It was good to have guys behind you and not be throwing so many bullpens.”
Asked for his opinion of Gausman today, Showalter said, “You can see why everybody thinks so highly of him. He’s got a great delivery and does a lot of things to make himself successful. The changeup he has should play better at higher levels. He’s one of those guys who looks real comfortable on the mound.”
Troy Patton surrendered a home run to Matt Wieters, but it came on his first offering after he was instructed to pitch from the stretch.
“I felt real good,” he said. “I gave up a home run, but I threw a lot of strikes. And I thought I struck out (Nate) McLouth with a slider. I’m real happy.
“I just kind of yanked a sinker to Matt. I threw a straight sinker and I knew it was gone as soon as I threw it. I was just hoping he didn’t swing.”
Steve Johnson didn’t pitch today, but Showalter continues to praise him.
“It’s like we told you last year, we weren’t going to overlook him and we didn’t,” Showalter said. “There’s not many guys in this camp with the younger guys with a little bit less experience that have the numbers he’s got in Triple-A last season and what he continued in the big leagues. So, trying to keep in mind, too, that because of the knee he had last year, we had to kind of back off his conditioning. We thought we might have had to slow play him early and catch up some on the offseason work he normally does, but he’s catching up real quick. He had a good outing yesterday.”
Note: In case you need to update your scorecard, here’s the list of Orioles participating in the World Baseball Classic:
Outfielder Adam Jones: USA
Pitcher Pedro Strop and bullpen coach Bill Castro: Dominican Republic
Catcher Allan de San Miguel: Australia
Infielder Jonathan Schoop and pitcher Jonatan Isenia: Netherlands
Pitcher Rafael Moreno: Brazil
Catcher Christopher Robinson and outfielder Timothy Smith: Canada