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Reimold on Orioles return: “I’m not taking it for granted”

Posted on 09 June 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Once thought to be one of the Orioles’ most talented prospects, outfielder Nolan Reimold now hopes to be able to simply contribute again at the major league level after two spinal fusion surgeries.

Prior to Tuesday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox, the 31-year-old was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk as the Orioles optioned left-handed relief pitcher Cesar Cabral to the Tides. Reimold was batting sixth and playing left field in his first start for Baltimore since July 13, 2013.

Of course, the 2005 second-round pick had to wait his turn on a minor-league contract this spring, batting .286 with two home runs, 12 doubles, 13 RBIs, five stolen bases, and a .739 OPS in 194 plate appearances for Norfolk. After a slow start, Reimold was hitting .422 over his last 14 games in the International League, which earned the promotion with the Orioles receiving poor production in left field all season.

“Getting at-bats pretty much every day down at Norfolk [is] what I really needed to do after the last couple years,” said Reimold, who knocked on wood when citing his ability to stay healthy this season. “It was really good for me to be down there and play every day and start hitting the ball. Whenever the call comes, you’re always happy. I’m up here and I’m not taking it for granted. I just want to make the best of it.”

Baltimore left fielders have hit just .200 with a horrendous .550 on-base plus slugging percentage this season, meaning the bar isn’t exactly a high one for the veteran.

In a perfect world, Reimold would offer manager Buck Showalter another option at the top of the lineup where Manny Machado has become the leadoff hitter out of pure necessity. Serving as the No. 1 hitter to begin the 2012 season, Reimold was hitting .313 with five home runs in 16 games before a neck injury suffered in Chicago eventually led to the two surgeries that brought his career to a screeching halt.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing whether Reimold is capable of being that kind of a contributor again, but the Orioles have liked what they’ve seen from him at Norfolk to earn the opportunity.

“The guy is capable of doing a lot of things,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s performing and running really good just like we know Nolan can do. We all like Nolan and the story, but this isn’t some charity. We think he can help us win. I don’t know what else you could do to get back here physically.”

Reimold is now in his second stint with the Orioles after being designated for assignment last summer when a thriving first-place club no longer had room on its 25-man roster for him. After playing briefly with Toronto and then Arizona, he elected to sign a minor-league deal with Baltimore over the winter.

After failing to make the 25-man roster at the start of the season despite a strong spring, Reimold still hoped an opportunity would come before next month’s opt-out date when he could have elected free agency.

“This is where I wanted to be. I feel like the organization knows me better,” Reimold said. “They care more. There’s not too much loyalty in professional sports, but I do feel a sense of loyalty here at Baltimore. I think that they care about what happens to me here, so that’s one of the big reasons why I chose to come back here. It’s been a while since I’ve been here, so I’m really happy.”

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Orioles preparing to promote Reimold on Tuesday

Posted on 08 June 2015 by Luke Jones

As they continue to receive abysmal production in left field, the Orioles are prepared to add a familiar name to the outfield mix.

Multiple outlets reported Monday that outfielder Nolan Reimold is expected to have his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk in time for the start of a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. Signed to a minor-league contract in the offseason, the 31-year-old had an opt-out clause he could exercise next month and the Orioles are still searching for solutions at the corner outfield positions.

Orioles left fielders are hitting just .200 with four home runs and a .550 on-base plus slugging percentage this season with a number of players failing to provide consistent production.

In 194 plate appearances for the Tides this season, Reimold was hitting .286 with two home runs, 12 doubles, 13 RBIs, five stolen bases, and a .739 OPS. After a slow start, the 2005 second-round pick is hitting .422 over his last 14 games in the International League.

A well-documented injury history prevented Reimold from realizing his once-encouraging potential when he hit .279 with 15 homers and an .831 OPS as a 25-year-old rookie with the Orioles in 2009. While other ailments hindered his development, Reimold’s career nearly came to an end in 2012 when he underwent spinal fusion surgery and needed a second fusion a year later.

After beginning the 2014 season on the disabled list, Reimold was designated for assignment by the Orioles and had stints with Toronto and Arizona before becoming a free agent in the offseason. Because he is out of minor-league options, the Orioles had been hesitant to call him up to the majors this season as they believe he would not pass through waivers if they tried to send him back to the minors.

Reimold hit .340 in the Grapefruit League to establish himself as a potential option for the 2015 club.

It remains unclear who the Orioles will remove from the 25-man roster to make room for Reimold as they are currently playing a man short with left-handed reliever Brian Matusz needing to serve five more games of an eight-game suspension. It’s possible that Baltimore could option a reliever to the minors and go with a six-man bullpen as the current bench has just three position players.

Current Baltimore outfielders David Lough, Travis Snider, and Steve Pearce are all out of minor-league options.

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Harvey, Alvarez headline list of invitees to Orioles spring training

Posted on 10 February 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles released their 2015 spring training roster on Tuesday with a group of 15 non-roster invitees headlined by pitching prospect Hunter Harvey and Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez.

Harvey, the club’s first-round pick of the 2013 draft, received a clean bill of health early in the offseason after his first full professional season was cut short by a flexor mass strain in late July. He went 7-5 with a 3.18 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings for Single-A Delmarva last season.

Alvarez, 26, has been hyped by members of the organization this offseason in regards to his tremendous throwing arm in the outfield as well as the ability he showed at the plate last year. In 564 plate appearances split between Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, Alvarez batted .306 with 55 extra-base hits.

Other familiar names among the non-roster invitees include the 40-year-old lefty reliever Mark Hendrickson, former Toronto and Texas catcher J.P. Arencibia, and outfielder Nolan Reimold, whose minor-league deal was officially announced Monday. Baltimore native and St. Paul’s product Steve Johnson was also invited to spring training after the 27-year-old right-hander re-signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles last month.

Notable absences from the group of non-roster invitees include pitcher Suk-min Yoon and outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who advanced all the way to Double-A Bowie last season. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Sarasota last month that Yoon would not be invited to big-league camp.

On a personal note, it’s impossible not to think of this movie clip when the list of non-roster invitees is released every winter:

With first baseman Chris Davis allowed to play in spring contests despite having one game remaining on his 25-game ban for Adderall use, the Orioles are technically carrying 41 players on their 40-man roster this spring.

Pitcher and catchers will report to Sarasota on Feb. 19 while full-squad workouts begin on Feb. 25.

Below is the entire 2015 spring training roster:

40-MAN ROSTER

PITCHERS (22)
73 Tim Berry (L)
35 Brad Brach
53 Zach Britton (L)
49 Dylan Bundy
16 Wei-Yin Chen (L)
71 Oliver Drake
68 Eddie Gamboa
61 Jason Garcia (Rule 5 selection)
39 Kevin Gausman
50 Miguel Gonzalez
29 Tommy Hunter
31 Ubaldo Jimenez
17 Brian Matusz (L)
66 T.J. McFarland (L)
25 Bud Norris
56 Darren O’Day
30 Chris Tillman
64 Logan Verrett (Rule 5 selection)
58 Ryan Webb
63 Tyler Wilson
59 Mike Wright
40 Wesley Wright (L)

CATCHERS (3)
45 Steve Clevenger
36 Caleb Joseph
32 Matt Wieters

INFIELDERS (7+1)
19 Chris Davis (does not count toward 40-man limit)
3 Ryan Flaherty
2 J.J. Hardy
13 Manny Machado
43 Rey Navarro
38 Jimmy Paredes
6 Jonathan Schoop
18 Christian Walker

OUTFIELDERS (8)
12 Alejandro De Aza
57 Alex Hassan
10 Adam Jones
9 David Lough
28 Steve Pearce
23 Travis Snider
51 Henry Urrutia
27 Delmon Young

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

PITCHERS (6)
70 Dane De La Rosa
62 Hunter Harvey
34 Mark Hendrickson (L)
52 Steve Johnson
75 Chris Jones (L)
65 Chaz Roe

CATCHERS (3)
15 J.P. Arencibia
60 Ryan Lavarnway
74 Brian Ward

INFIELDERS (3)
67 Michael Almanzar
1 Paul Janish
41 Chris Parmelee

OUTFIELDERS (3)
79 Dariel Alvarez
14 Nolan Reimold
48 Matt Tuiasosopo

 

MANAGER/COACHES
26 Buck Showalter (manager)
54 Dom Chiti (bullpen)
47 Scott Coolbaugh (hitting)
55 Einar Diaz (assistant hitting)
11 Bobby Dickerson (third-base coach)
24 Wayne Kirby (first-base coach)
77 John Russell (bench)
37 Dave Wallace (pitching)

ADDITIONAL SPRING STAFF
9 Brady Anderson
72 Rudy Arias
85 Sean Berry
14 Mike Bordick
88 Kevin Bradshaw
83 Scott Beerer
76 Brian Graham
91 Mike Griffin
81 Jose Hernandez
89 Miguel Jabalera
86 Ron Johnson
78 Gary Kendall
80 Jeff Manto
16 Scott McGregor
84 Alan Mills
87 Rick Peterson
82 Jett Ruiz
17 B.J. Surhoff
90 Don Werner

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Orioles sign Reimold to minor-league deal, trade Lombardozzi to Pittsburgh

Posted on 03 February 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles made several roster moves Tuesday headlined by the return of outfielder Nolan Reimold to the organization.

According to MASN Sports, the 31-year-old agreed to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Once considered one of the better young players in the organization, a series of injuries including two spinal fusion procedures prevented Reimold from ever reaching his potential in Baltimore.

Upon working his way back to full strength last summer following a second neck surgery, Reimold was placed on waivers by the Orioles and claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays last July. The right-handed hitter batted .212 with two home runs and nine runs batted in in 60 plate appearances before once again being waived in late August. Reimold finished the season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .294 with a homer and four RBIs over 18 plate appearances.

In six major league seasons, Reimold has posted a .251 average with 44 home runs and a .762 on-base plus slugging percentage in 1,134 career plate appearances.

The Orioles also traded infielder Steve Lombardozzi to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations. The Atholton High product hit .288 in 73 at-bats at the beginning of last season before spending the rest of the 2014 season at Triple-A Norfolk where he batted .270 with a .618 OPS.

The organization wasn’t enamored with Lombardozzi’s limitations defensively as well as his lack of power.

Baltimore dealt minor-league catcher Michael Ohlman to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash. A strong 2013 season that included 13 home runs for Single-A Frederick put Ohlman on the Orioles’ prospect radar, but he posted a .627 OPS at Double-A Bowie last year and was designated for assignment last week to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Travis Snider.

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Former Oriole Reimold claimed off waivers by Blue Jays

Posted on 06 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Nolan Reimold was claimed off outright waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday.

The claim ends a week of speculation about the outfielder’s future. The Baltimore Orioles had activated Reimold from the 60 day disabled list (back) earlier in the week and designated him for assignment. After failing to be able to trade him, the Birds placed Reimold on outright waivers Friday.

The Blue Jays will be on the hook for the remainder of his $1.025 million salary this season.

Reimold’s Baltimore tenure ends after his most recent trip to the DL came following spine fusion surgery in the spring. This surgery was the most recent in a line of health-related issues for the Bowling Green alum. After being sidelined by an oblique strain and achilles tendon fraying early in his career, Reimold’s most significant issues began in 2012. He previously had surgery for a herniated disc in June 2012 that shortened his season, he was forced to have corrective surgery just a year later to fix the previous procedure.

Since arriving in the big leagues in 2009, Reimold played in just 286 games (all with the Orioles). He hit .252/.327/.439 with 41 home runs and 126 RBI in the span.

The O’s appeared to view Reimold as expendable in part due to a glut of right handed hitting outfielder/designated hitter/first base types on the major league roster. Manager Buck Showalter has struggled to find regular playing time for hot hitting Delmon Young due to Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce’s outstanding success to start the season as well.

CRUZ RESPONDS: Speaking of Cruz, he responded to comments made about him Saturday night by Red Sox pitcher John Lackey when speaking to reporters pre-game Sunday.

After the left fielder went 5-5 and came just a triple short of the cycle Saturday night, Lackey said “I’m not even going to comment on him. I’ve got nothing to say about him. There’s things I would like to say, but I’m not going to.”

The starter was clearly referring to Cruz’s 50 game suspension in 2013 related to PED’s and his relationship with Biogenesis.

Cruz was asked about the comments by reporters Sunday, saying “people can say whatever they want. It’s part of being free. I don’t have any comments about that,” according to CSNBaltimore.com. “What I care about is my teammates and what they think about me.”

He added “everybody is free to talk. What I care about is what I’m doing here.”

Showalter also addressed the comments in his pre-game chat with reporters, saying “you consider sources of people and some of their emotions after the game, whether it be a player’s comment or a manager’s comment or some fan’s comment. You understand that nobody makes those comments after they pitched a complete game shutout or Nelson is 0-for-5. It’s human nature. We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s,” also according to CSNBaltimore.com.

NOTES: Showalter re-affirmed to reporters in Boston that Bud Norris (groin) came out of his simulated game Saturday well and is expected to start Tuesday or Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. The Baltimore Sun reported the team is leaning towards Tuesday to get him an extra start before the All-Star break…MLB.com reports Sunday starter Kevin Gausman is not guaranteed to make another start before the All-Star break, saying the Birds could send him back down to get another reliever before the final week of the first half of the season…Slumping first baseman Chris Davis did not start Sunday as Showalter decided to give him a day of rest. Davis came into the day with just two hits in his last 34 at-bats

 

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Orioles place Reimold on outright waivers after failing to trade him

Posted on 05 July 2014 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Orioles placed veteran outfielder Nolan Reimold on outright waivers Friday, according to multiple reports.

The team made the move after failing to find someone willing to trade for him after they activated him from the 60 day disabled list and designating him for assignment earlier in the week.

A team who claims the Pennsylvania native will assume the remainder of his $1.025 million salary for the season. If he goes unclaimed, the team will be able to give him a minor league assignment. According to MASN, a resolution is expected by the end of the weekend.

Reimold’s most recent trip to the DL came after he had cervical spine fusion surgery in the spring, the most recent in a line of health-related issues for the Bowling Green alum. After being sidelined by an oblique strain and achilles tendon fraying early in his career, Reimold’s most significant issues began in 2012. He previously had surgery for a herniated disc in June 2012 that shortened his season, he was forced to have corrective surgery just a year later to fix the previous procedure.

Since arriving in the big leagues in 2009, Reimold has played in just 286 games (all with the Orioles). He has hit .252/.327/.439 with 41 home runs and 126 RBI in the span.

Reimold’s agency (The Beverly Hills Sports Council) posted this video to YouTube/Twitter Friday showing the outfielder squatting 425 pounds recently in an attempt to prove he’s ready to play major league baseball again.

NOTES: MASN also reports the Birds will indeed recall P Kevin Gausman to start Sunday’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park…The Orioles go into Saturday’s doubleheader with a 24 man roster but will have 26 men available by Game 2. The O’s will be able to utilize a MLB rule to add a 26th player for the doubleheader, likely an extra reliever. Evan Meek and Preston Guilmet would seem to be the most likely candidates to be added to the team as they are both on the 40 man roster. Third baseman Manny Machado can rejoin the team for the second game of the doubleheader after serving the final game of his five game suspension…Bud Norris will throw a simulated game between the two games of Saturday’s doubleheader, according to MLB.com. Manager Buck Showalter said Norris was “still in play” to start Monday against the Washington Nationals

 

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Orioles activate Reimold from DL, designate him for assignment

Posted on 01 July 2014 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Orioles announced Tuesday they had activated OF Nolan Reimold (back) from the 60 day DL and designated him for assignment.

The team will now have 10 days to trade or release the 30 year old. If he is not claimed off of waivers the team could then give him a minor league assignment. Should Reimold refuse that assignment, he would forfeit the rest of his 2014 salary. If a team does claim Reimold or he accepts the assignment, the Birds would still owe him roughly $500,000 of his $1.025 million salary.

Reimold had cervical spine fusion surgery in the spring, the most recent in a line of health-related issues for the Bowling Green alum. After being sidelined by an oblique strain and achilles tendon fraying early in his career, Reimold’s most significant issues began in 2012. The Pennsylvania native had surgery for a herniated disc in June 2012 that shortened his season, he was forced to have corrective surgery just a year later to fix the previous procedure.

Since arriving in the big leagues in 2009, Reimold has played in just 286 games (all with the Orioles). He has hit .252/.327/.439 with 41 home runs and 126 RBI in the span.

NOTES: The Boston Red Sox announced INF Michael Almanzar had been returned to their organization by the Orioles. Almanzar was Baltimore’s choice in the major league portion of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft and was designated for assignment Monday after being activated from the 60 day DL (knee)…Kevin Gausman is eligible to return to the bigs after his 10 day waiting period expired following his June demotion. Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced Gausman will start Wednesday for the Aberdeen Ironbirds and could be in line to start for the O’s Sunday against the Red Sox

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Orioles still not tipping hand on looming Reimold decision

Posted on 28 June 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Orioles must make a decision on the future of oft-injured outfielder Nolan Reimold by Monday but aren’t tipping their hand until the last moment.

Neither executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette nor manager Buck Showalter indicated what the Orioles plan to do as Reimold’s 20-day rehab assignment is coming to an end. The 30-year-old is out of minor-league options, so the Orioles must either place him on the 25-man roster or expose him to waivers and take the chance that another club will claim him.

Many critics wouldn’t view the latter as a major loss since Reimold hasn’t performed at a high level in the majors since the start of the 2012 season. He has undergone two spinal fusion surgeries since then, but the Orioles thought highly enough of Reimold to sign him to a one-year, $1.025 million contract last offseason when many expected they wouldn’t tender him a deal.

In 46 at-bats with the Baysox, Reimold is hitting .326 with two home runs, nine runs batted in, and 11 walks.

“We hope Nolan will be a factor to help our team,” Duquette said during a forum for season ticket holders on Satuday. “He’s currently down in Bowie completing his 20-day rehab. [We’ll assess] Nolan’s capability to help our ball club right now or see if he can do that later in the season. But he’s getting on base, he’s played some games in the field and as a DH, and he’s done well. He’s on his way back.”

Unlike last year, the Orioles are receiving plenty of production in left field and at the designated hitter spot with Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce, and Delmon Young all having strong seasons. Showalter has struggled to find playing time for Young, so it wouldn’t appear to make sense to add another right-handed outfielder to the bench.

The only apparent way to make room for Reimold would be to designate light-hitting outfielder David Lough for assignment, but Showalter likes using him as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. Lough also provides the Orioles a backup center fielder for Adam Jones, a position no other outfielder on the roster is equipped to handle.

Barring an injury over the next day or two, the Orioles’ only practical option for Reimold might be to designate him for assignment with the plan to outright him to Triple-A Norfolk if no other club decides to take a chance on him after two major neck surgeries. With so much sweat equity invested in his recovery, the Orioles would clearly prefer keeping him in the organization without compromising their major league roster in the process.

“I know we’ve had some discussions about it,” Showalter said. “[Vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson] has been down there a few times. He’s up to speed on him. He talks to Nolan a lot. Obviously, there’s a pending move there.”

In 936 career major league at-bats, Reimold has hit .252 with 41 home runs, 126 RBIs, and a .327 on-base percentage.

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Machado approaching final hurdles before rehab assignment

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Manager Buck Showalter has a date in mind for when we might see third baseman Manny Machado back in the Orioles lineup but isn’t ready to share it just yet.

The 21-year-old took another significant step toward his return on Monday as he began sprinting, running at full speed six times from 90 feet at the club’s spring training facility in Sarasota. Machado also had four at-bats in a simulated game in addition to the sprinting.

Machado will sprint from 180 feet Tuesday before attempting to clear the last major hurdle of running the bases this week.

Should the All-Star third baseman respond favorably to that task, he is expected to play in at least two or three extended spring training before beginning a rehab assignment that can last up to 20 days for a position player on the major league disabled list. Such a schedule would make a return to the Orioles possible by late April or — more realistically — early May even though Showalter hinted that Machado may not need the full 20 days of minor-league games to get ready after taking part in baseball-related activity to varying degrees since late January.

“Manny’s feeling good. Hopefully, he’ll feel as well tomorrow as he did today,” said Showalter, who exchanged text messages with Machado and spoke with minor league medical coordinator Dave Walker on Monday. “He’s been down this road enough that he knows. He wants to get it right the first time. He’s got a lot of good people around him who won’t let him get ahead of himself. The things they’re putting him through, it’s going to be pretty obvious if he can do them, he’s ready to go.”

The Orioles have used the combination of Ryan Flaherty and rookie Jonathan Schoop at third base in Machado’s absence this season. All three errors committed by Baltimore have come at third base where Schoop committed two miscues in Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

While the organization continues to be conservative with Machado, Monday’s developments certainly presented some light at the end of the tunnel that’s remained somewhat ambiguous since the infielder complained of soreness from scar tissue that forced him to stop running in mid-March. Of course, the Orioles will at least hold their breath as Machado tries to cut around the bases this week, which is what he struggled with during spring training.

“As Dave said today, ‘He’s got a good face going right now,'” Showalter said. “We all know what he’s talking about.”

In other injury-related news from Sarasota, pitching prospect Dylan Bundy threw 35 pitches from the mound and mixed in some changeups to go with his fastball for the first time on Monday. Bundy is expected to begin throwing curveballs later this week.

Outfielder Nolan Reimold continues to receive treatment on his surgically-repaired neck but is still not taking part in any baseball-related activity after being moved to the 60-day disabled list earlier this month.

Here are Monday’s lineups:

TAMPA BAY
2B Ben Zobrist
CF Desmond Jennings
DH Logan Forsythe
3B Evan Longoria
RF Wil Myers
1B James Loney
LF Brandon Guyer
SS Yunel Escobar
C Ryan Hanigan

SP Chris Archer (1-0, 1.38 ERA)

BALTIMORE
RF Nick Markakis
DH Nelson Cruz
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF David Lough
SS J.J. Hardy
2B Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Flaherty

SP Wei-Yin Chen (1-1, 6.75 ERA)

Follow WNST on Twitter for updates and analysis throughout the evening at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Jimenez own worst enemy in struggles against Yankees

Posted on 07 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The book on Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez throughout his major league career has been the tendency to be his own worst enemy.

With an array of pitches and ability that suggest he should be a perennial Cy Young Award candidate, Jimenez has instead struggled to find consistency due to command issues that once again plagued him in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

The right-hander surrendered eight hits — several of the bloop variety — and four earned runs over 4 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium, but the five walks issued transformed a potentially-respectable outing into one in which he failed to make it out of the fifth inning and suffered his second loss of the season.

In addition to free passes elevating his pitch count, Jimenez began the bottom of the third with a walk to No. 9 hitter Yangervis Solarte, who scored the first run of the game on a double play. The Baltimore pitcher then walked Kelly Johnson with two outs an inning later to put a runner in scoring position before Solarte drove in the second New York run of the game.

Appropriately enough, Jimenez walked former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts to conclude his rough 109-pitch outing before lefty Zach Britton entered to walk Johnson to force a run home in the fifth inning.

Jimenez entered Monday’s game averaging 4.0 walks per nine innings in his career — which equals former Baltimore pitcher Jake Arrieta’s frustrating career mark — and has never been able to work deep into games consistently because of high pitch counts and free passes. His 3.30 earned run average a year ago was his best since his 2010 All-Star season with Colorado, but Jimenez only managed to complete 182 2/3 innings in his 32 starts and hasn’t reached the 200-inning plateau since 2010 despite having made at least 31 starts in each of the last three seasons.

No one doubts Jimenez’s upside — it’s why the Orioles gave him a four-year, $50 million contract in February — but his propensity for issuing walks and throwing too many pitches won’t bode well competing against the American League East and its patient lineups if pitching coach Dave Wallace can’t help the 30-year-old keep his unorthodox mechanics in check.

Over the course of the season, you’re going to get the good Jimenez and the bad Jimenez, but the Orioles have seen too much of the latter through his two starts of the 2014 season.

Hardy still on mend

Shortstop J.J. Hardy missed his third game in four days on Monday as he continues to nurse lower back spasms that started on Friday in Detroit.

He told reporters prior to the series opener against the Yankees that his back was improving, but it remains unclear whether he will be available to play on Tuesday afternoon. It’s understandable that the Orioles wouldn’t want to be hasty in placing the veteran on the 15-day disabled list, but his back spams have left manager Buck Showalter shorthanded on the bench.

With two runners on and one out in the seventh, New York manager Joe Girardi summoned lefty Matt Thornton to face the left-handed Ryan Flaherty, a situation that typically calls for a pinch hitter. The problem was that Showalter was without another infielder as Delmon Young, Steve Pearce, and Steve Clevenger were his only available bench options.

Young and Pearce provide viable options against left-handed pitching, but their lack of versatility and speed isn’t ideal off the bench. Should Hardy be sidelined any longer, the Orioles may need to take a long look at adding another infielder to the 25-man roster as they’ve already leaned heavily on Flaherty, Steve Lombardozzi, and rookie Jonathan Schoop in the infield.

And it’s part of the reason why the Baltimore lineup has managed just 22 runs in its first seven games of the season.

Reimold shifted to 60-day DL

With the acquisition of right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet from the Cleveland Indians on Monday, the Orioles transferred outfielder Nolan Reimold to the 60-day disabled list, which is just the latest disappointment in the 30-year-old’s career.

At this point, any health-related setback isn’t surprising for the right-handed hitter as he wasn’t progressing enough with his surgically-repaired neck to warrant a roster spot to begin the season. Monday’s development makes him ineligible to return until late May, and Showalter said Reimold continues to receive treatment on his neck in Sarasota.

There’s no question that Reimold has been through hell physically with two spinal fusion surgeries over the last two years, which is what made the Orioles’ decision to sign him to a one-year, $1.025 million deal over the winter so surprising. Inking him to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training would have been reasonable, but guaranteeing his contract seemed excessive at the time and certainly does now as he still isn’t 100 percent.

The good news for the Orioles is that they weren’t depending on Reimold to be a real contributor in the lineup as they were in each of he last two years as they acquired left fielder David Lough from Kansas City and signed designated hitter Nelson Cruz over the winter. Anything they get from Reimold is icing on the cake, but his shift to the 60-day DL certainly won’t create any optimism of him being able to contribute.

 

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