Left field has been more discussed in Baltimore this month than the stock market, swine flu, and Brad and Angelina combined. WNST’s phone lines and internet message boards are all jammed with people trying to be armchair baseball executives. Everyone has an opinion and I am never one to miss out on a trend.
I think everybody who has ever read anything I have written about the Orioles knows I loathe the existence of Felix Pie. I see the value in giving a guy who was the Cubs top minor league prospect twice a shot on a non-contending ball club. But the fact remains I am sick of watching Felix Pie stumble around left field like a drunken hobo. If I am forced to endure watching Pie hack at another pitch in the dirt or eight inches out of the strike I am going to punch myself in the face.
As for Lou Montanez I think the kid has the tools and the mental capacity to be a productive major league outfielder. He won the Eastern League Triple Crown last season even though he missed a month of the season in the big leagues for goodness sake. At 27 I think Lou Montanez will turn out to be the Orioles equivalent of Priest Holmes. A guy who did nothing but produce but for some unknown reason never received the full support of a front office that was always looking for his replacement.
I think the time has come to call up Reimold and see what we have. At 25 he is teetering on the edge of being a top prospect or an over the hill minor league player.
Last night Reimold hit his seventh home run of the season depositing a prodigious shot into the left center field stands. Reimold ended the game going 2-4 adding a RBI double to his second inning bomb.
Reimold has been blazing hot at the plate this season; he seems to be dialed in and is driving everything. So far in 2009 Reimold is hitting an unbelievable .480 with 29 hits in his 71 at bats including 13 extra base hits. His power numbers are off the charts with seven bombs and an almost comical slugging percentage of .775. In addition Reimold is also knocking in runners seemingly at will with 21 RBI’s in 19 games. Rounding out his game he has stepped up his aggression on the base paths with four stolen bases with out being caught.
In the much hyped Matt Wieters-David Price showdown this past Sunday Reimold stole the show. While Wieters went 0-1 with a strikeout and a walk against the #1 pitching prospect in all of baseball; Reimold went 1-2 including a solo shot in the second inning.
A major concern early in Reimold’s career was his ability to play in the outfield. So far this season he has not had an error in left field and has been praised by Norfolk manager Gary Allenson for his dedication to improving his glove. During Spring Training Orioles manager Dave Trembley had high praise for Reimold defensively saying that he was surprised with his athleticism and fielding ability.
Recently Trembley has been asked numerous times about calling Reimold up to the big leagues. After avoiding the question numerous times he finally broke down during a pre-game news conference last week when he said, “He’s not here yet, if he came here, I would think the opportunity would be for him to play, not be a reserve. But that’s something I haven’t thought about.” It’s good to hear Reimold won’t be tossed into a platoon situation with Pie and Montanez. If the Pie experiment explodes in the Orioles face (as I think it ulimately will) it is nice to know they will give Reimold a true shot not the half-hearted shot they are giving Montanez now.
Nolan Reimold could be a major piece to the Orioles rebuilding puzzle; and the third and final piece to the best young outfield in baseball.