The Orioles missed Nolan Reimold more than you might think. Without Reimold for most of the year, Nate McLouth played more than he should have, and his production suffered.
Reimold turned 30 on Friday, and he’s only played 286 major league games, never approaching the 104 in 2009, his first year.
He’s an intriguing player, offering some power and speed and a decent ability to get on base. Manager Buck Showalter batted him leadoff at the beginning of 2012.
That was the year when a herniated disc in his neck finished his season after 16 games. Last year, a hamstring and a second surgery on the neck limited him to 40 games.
Baseballreference.com projects Reimold as a 23 home run hitter with 71 RBIs over 162 games. That’s what keeps the Orioles coming back.
After the surgery, the Orioles signed him to a $1 million contract. This year, they’re likely to non-tender him and try and sign him back to an incentive-laden deal, perhaps a minor league one.
There’s not going to be much of a market for a player who has missed so much time. Even his rookie year was truncated by surgery for an Achilles tendon injury.
In the final weeks of the season, Showalter mentioned Reimold in a pre-game briefing. It’s obvious that he’s seen the promise of Reimold.
The odds are that Reimold gets one final shot next spring training.