BALTIMORE — Still experiencing numbness in his fingers and forearm, injured Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold will receive a second epidural injection to alleviate the pain from a herniated disc.
Reimold hasn’t played since the end of April and the first epidural he received nearly two weeks ago has done little to eliminate the discomfort from a bulging disc in his neck. The 28-year-old Reimold remains with the team and is expected to have the second injection on Friday, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
“We’re hoping this does the trick,” said Showalter, who could not offer an idea of a projected date for a return. “That’s what we’re hoping, but there’s always that potential.”
The absence of Reimold and veteran Endy Chavez figured to leave a giant hole in left field, but the Orioles have found unexpected relief from 22-year-old Xavier Avery over the last 10 days. His emergency is even more remarkable when you consider the organization debated whether to send Avery to Triple-A Norfolk or back to Double-A Bowie after an underwhelming 2011 season with the Baysox.
Avery is hitting .278 in 36 at-bats and has already walked five times, showing impressive patience at the plate for a player not known for great discipline in the minor leagues. In comparison, Avery hit only .259 for Bowie last season and struck out 156 times while walking 49 times in 626 plate appearances.
Showalter is using caution when praising his fast start in the big leagues, but the Orioles feel very fortunate to have Avery’s contributions in left field every day.
“I’ve been impressed with his calmness and his selectiveness,” Showalter said. “And that’s always the last thing to come — it seems like — with a young player. Xavier’s doing well so far.”
In other news, injured infielder Mark Reynolds (strained oblique muscle) took batting practice off coaches in Sarasota on Tuesday. Chavez is also progressing nicely from a strained intercostal muscle and is scheduled to hit off coaches on Wednesday.
Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton said he felt good after pitching in an extended spring game and is on track to start at Double-A Bowie on Saturday.
Here are Tuesday night’s lineups…
SS Mike Aviles
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
RF Adrian Gonzalez
1B Kevin Youkilis
3B Will Middlebrooks
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
LF Daniel Nava
CF Marlon Byrd
SP Felix Doubront (4-1, 4.09 ERA)
2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Wilson Betemit
DH Chris Davis
3B Steve Tolleson
LF Xavier Avery
SP Brian Matusz (3-4, 5.36 ERA)