Thursday, May 14, 2009
Nolan Reimold called up!!!
The disappointing 8-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last night came with some upside. Bob McCrory, the pitcher who allowed 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning, which ultimately lost the O’s the game, pitched his way off the team. He walked 4 batters in that doomed inning and threw a wild pitch that allowed a run. That made room for the Orioles to call up hot prospect Nolan Reimold from Norfolk.
Reimold has been much-discussed over the last few weeks, as his hot start to the season kept going, and going, and going. In just over 100 AB’s, Reimold has amassed 11 2B, 9 HR, 27 RBI for a 1.228 OPS. And with the Felix Pie experiment on the down slope, calling up Reimold made sense for the Orioles.
It also made even more sense when Adam Jones was removed from the game last night with a sore hamstring. This is the second time this season that Jones has battled a sore hamstring, so time on the DL is probably imminent. If that is the case, Pie will get a longer look, at least for 2 weeks, until Jones comes back. And that is probably a good thing, since Pie never really got his extended look in Baltimore. He started the season miserably both in the field and at the plate, and filling in for Jones in CF, Pie’s natural position, could bring him back into his comfort zone. Going 2-2 last night with a HR might be early proof of that.
Meanwhile, Nolan Reimold instantly becomes the starting LF and should remain there for the near future, assuming his blistering success in Norfolk translates to Baltimore. He’ll improve the bottom of the line-up drastically. And when Jones comes off the DL, Lou Montanez can be sent back down to Norfolk to avoid losing Pie, who is out of options.
It also appears likely that LHP SP Rich Hill will join the team this weekend against the Royals in Kansas City. Hill’s rehabilitation went well, throwing 30-60-90 pitch increments in 3 starts. He still had some leftover control problems during those starts, but, Hill replaces either Mark Hendrickson or Adam Eaton, each of whom has battled control problems so far in 2009. Hill’s stuff is nastier than either of those pitchers and it has been said that his curveball is among the best in the MLB, but of course, that is when Hill has it working.
If the choice were up to me, Hendrickson would be the one jettisoned to the curb like last night’s empty pizza box. Lurch has been horrible during his short stint in Baltimore. Even when he was “successful”, he’s walked a tightrope and his inability to go deep in games has worn out the bullpen. And while Adam Eaton still has a slim chance to go deep in games, Hendrickson had none.
Lurch was signed as a relief pitcher and was forced into the rotation when no other pitcher won the starting job in spring training, but Hendrickson has looked so ineffective on the mound this season that I wouldn’t even put him in the bullpen, where he has had some moderate success in the past.
The sooner Lurch is no longer an Oriole, the better.
A slumping Ty Wigginton broke out of his funk last night, going 3-5 with a HR... The desperation for Matt Wieters increases, as Chad Moeller and Greg Zaun went a combined 0-4 last night and now both have averages of .212... Brad Bergesen, who collected the loss last night, the first of his career, has made 3 very solid starts and 2 poor ones. His position as the 2010 team’s #5 starter is all but sewn up… The Orioles have dominated the Royals in the recent past, but this year might be different, as the Royals are tied for first in the AL Central with an 18-16 record. Zach Grienke, the MLB’s best starter thus far is 6-1 with a 0.56 ERA, 59 K, 8 BB and 4 complete games. He pitches against Adam Eaton and the Orioles on Friday night. Ouch.