Does it still count as an off-day if a game goes past midnight?
The Orioles will take it, no matter the definition. It’s still going to feel like rest.
The bullpen could use it after manager Buck Showalter called upon six relievers in last night’s 5-4, 12-inning victory over the White Sox, though he skillfully limited their pitch counts to make them available for Friday’s doubleheader. Brad Brach threw eight, Darren O’Day 14, Zach Britton 16, Ryan Webb 19, Brian Matusz 24 and Tommy Hunter four.
The rotation could use it with a doubleheader on the horizon and Bud Norris undergoing an MRI today on his groin. Norris has been a rock. Losing him for an extended period would leave a mark, even with Kevin Gausman’s return.
In a span of two days this week, the Orioles managed to get pitcher Edgmer Escalona and outfielder Francisco Peguero through waivers and outrighted them to Triple-A Norfolk. Escalona declined the assignment and became a free agent. Peguero had no choice.
Peguero seems to be a better fit for the Orioles because of his tools. They didn’t want to lose him.
The Orioles could attempt the same maneuver with outfielder Nolan Reimold, 30, whose injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie continues only through the weekend. He’s out of options and must be placed on the 25-man roster or exposed to waivers.
Reimold has appeared in 13 games with Bowie, going 14-for-39 (.359) with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs, 10 walks and seven strikeouts. Fully recovered from a corrective surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his neck, he’s eager to get back in the majors and resume his career.
But will it happen with the Orioles?
“I feel like I’ve come a long way and have progressed a lot and I’m ready to get started,” he said. “I’ve been playing the outfield and I feel a lot better. I haven’t had any problems with my neck and I feel a lot more comfortable at the plate, too.”
Reimold began the season on the 15-day disabled list due to the lingering effects of the surgery, which were most noticeable as he tried to track fly balls. The Orioles transferred him to the 60-day DL on April 7 after acquiring reliever Preston Guilmet from the Indians.
The Orioles have two openings on their 40-man roster, and they eventually could move catcher Matt Wieters to the 60-day DL. That’s the easy part. But how does Reimold fit on a 25-man roster that includes right-handed hitting corner outfielders Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young.
For fans suggesting that Reimold could replace David Lough, keep in mind that the Orioles already are thin in the left-handed hitting department. And while Lough hasn’t produced at the plate, he’s still contributing as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.
The Orioles could use another left-handed bat
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything,” Reimold said.
“If you ask me, the way I looked last year at spring training to the way I’m playing now, you can see I’ve come a long way. Back then I don’t think was really indicative of where I was going to end up.”
Reimold appeared in 40 games last season, going on the DL May 12 with a strained right hamstring and returning to it July 14 with nerve inflammation in his cervical spine. The original neck injury in 2012, most likely sustained when he tumbled into the seats while chasing a foul ball at U.S. Cellular in Chicago, limited him to 16 games.
While healthy, Reimold was batting .313/.333/.627 with six doubles, five home runs and 10 RBIs. It’s taken two years, and an extremely important corrective surgery by Dr. Robert Kowalski at the Florida Spine Institute, to get him feeling as though he’s back to being that player.
If the Orioles decide to place Reimold on waivers, he’s prepared to leave an organization that drafted him in the second round in 2005 and introduced him to the majors four years later. An organization that almost traded him to the Rays for shortstop Jason Bartlett before putting together a different deal with the Twins to acquire J.J. Hardy.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “If they don’t want me enough to keep me here and somebody else wants me more, I’d go there. I’d prefer to stay in Baltimore. That’s where I started. That’s where I want to be. But if they put me on waivers, I’ll do what I have to do.”