The news from Florida today was focused more upon Nolan Reimold and less upon baseball events – and that is how it should be.
When the text message arrived on my phone this afternoon that Reimold had been hit in the face with a pitch, was motionless on the field for several minutes, and finally carted off … ugh, I just felt sick over it.
Anyone who has read my blog over the past couple years knows that I have a high opinion of Reimold. I believe he has the most untapped up-side potential of any on the team and has merely needed the confidence of the organization to send him out there on a daily basis.
After the first Spring Training game of 2011, I wrote (in my previous blog independent of the Fansided Network): “There looked to be a lot of good news from the first game, but the one item that most interested me was of Nolan Reimold hitting a homer in his first at bat. After the disaster that was his 2010 season, I have to wonder if this long ball might not be, in retrospect some eight months from now, one of the most important homers for the 2011 Orioles. Maybe this early blast will serve as a sort of “re-set” for him. I really hope so!”
Reimold had a great Spring last year – batting .315 in 24 games with 10 RBIs and 3 homers – but since he had an option remaining, Felix Pie was kept and Reimold sent to AAA where he was rather mediocre. Though he would return to Baltimore and finish the season quite well, I believe that were he kept and played consistently from the first, he would have already been established as our every day leftfielder.
Everything seemed in place for him to get that shot this year, until today, when a fastball got away from the Rays Alex Cobb.
Showalter said of the incident, “One of our teammates … one of our players … he’s been through a lot. That’s all that was going through my head. He’s finally going to get a chance to play this year and everything’s in order, and all of a sudden you’re standing out there with him. Your heart’s in your throat.”
The good news is that the scans are negative and no bones are broken. Nolan has a serious bruise and a loose tooth. His jaw received the impact; and various writers and quoted players all spoke of the loud sound of it.
Hopefully Nolan will be back rather soon, and let’s hope all of him is back – head and all! We could do the research and dredge up more than a few names of players who were plunked in the dome – who were never the same. I hope that statement is buying too many of next week’s problems today, but, you know what I’m saying………..
Reimold is not going to carry the team, but he is a significant piece – in my humble opinion (the only type I offer!).