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June 1, 2010

Scouts talk Nolan Reimold

I haven’t been around many players who were as polarizing to scouts as Nolan Reimold was before he debuted with the Orioles last season. I’d talk to three scouts and one would think he could be an All-Star player, one would call him a solid third outfielder and the final one would say he’d be lucky to be a fourth outfielder.

Reimold won over a lot of the dissenting scouts last season when he hit .279 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs and emerged as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate before he was shut down to have left Achilles surgery. This year has been a different story as the 26-year-old outfielder was demoted to Triple-A after hitting .205 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 29 games for the Orioles. He hasn’t fared much better for the Tides with a .122 average, two homers and four RBIs entering Tuesday.

The opinions of the scouts that we spoke to are that his struggles were mostly related to him not being fully recovered from the foot surgery. They said his early season problems have not dimmed their opinion of him as a potential solid player.

Scout No. 1

“I am really surprised by Reimold. I thought he was the best power threat that the Orioles were going to have. I don’t know for sure, but I think the Achilles’ tendon has to have something to do with it. That’s a tough injury. It’s his plant foot and that just has to affect him at the plate. I still have confidence in him. I choose to give him a pass because of his injury. I think he’ll come back from this. He still has a lot of power.”

Scout No. 2

“Reimold is going to be a good player. The consensus among scouts is that he is a pretty good player, a guy who can hit 20-25 homers and be a .275/.280 hitter. He runs well but is an average outfielder at best. He’s not really going to set the world on fire in the outfield. Left field is his position. He hustles. He had a slow start, but I don’t know how much the Achilles hampered him.”

Scout No. 3

“He is his own worst enemy. He went into spring training and wanted to prove to the club he was healthy. And with [Felix] Pie hitting the [heck] out of the ball, he pressed so darn much. He has always felt he’s had to really earn his way with the Orioles. I think he’ll come out of it. No question he is in a funk right now. But he needs to remember what got him up here.”

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 12:36 PM | | Comments (14)
        

Comments

Hi Jeff,

Do you know if the Orioles have any interest in Nick Green? Izturis is below replacement level right now and Lugo isn’t much better. Adding Green seems like a better use of a roster spot then a no hit no field first basemen

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Jeff Z's reply: I haven't heard that they are interested in Green, but I'd have to check.

That's good to read as Reimold has been a favorite of mind for the last three years. He reminds me of the same type of player as Gary Roenicke/John Lowenstien days in left field.
I wish him all the best and hope to see him back with the O's soon.

Jeff,

I am sure you don't want to speculate, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that Dave Trembley will not be the manager of this team in the near future. With names being tossed around, why isn't Eric Wedge's name been mentioned?

He has had experience managing young teams, his bench coach (Jeff Datz) is already on the O's staff, and Carl Willis (his pitching coach in Cleveland who led Sabbathia and Lee to back to back Cy Youngs) is a minor league coordinator for the Mariners (who will surely be willing to give up that position if Wedge is hired).

It seems that he would be a suitable fit. Has his name ever been thrown around if Trembley is let go? Or are we potentially faced with a situation of Kranitz and Crowley getting fired and Trembley coaching the remainder of the season?

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Jeff Z's reply: I think Wedge would absolutely be one of the guys considered. And to be clear, when I say that I think Samuel or Datz (most likely Samuel) would get the team in the interim, I think the interim could be a week to 10 days, or a even a month. MacPhail would need time to interview candidates for the long-term vacancy. You have to interview minority candidates and do other things before filling your managerial vacancy on a permanent basis. I don't necessarily think the guy named interim is going to be their manager the rest of the season. I mean, that's possible. But that's not exactly how I see it playing out.

Any word on how Nolan has fared in his times at 1B? That seems like it would be a good move for a lot of reasons.

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Jeff Z's reply: He's looked pretty much like a guy who hasn't played first base since high school, which is the case.

Probably tired of hearing it, but this was a great article/set of blogs. Objective article with opinions from scouts that get to the heart of what's wrong with the O's and what could be right (as opposed to protecting/bashing MacPhil/Angelos/Trembley). Love to see a similar article with our young pitchers some day...

Jeff, the Sun is lucky to have you. Thanks and keep up the great work.

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Jeff Z's reply: Thanks a lot, Sandy.

Seems like Reimold -- like Jones -- always ends up in 0-2 counts. They usually take first pitch fastballs and then swing at the second pitch (usually a ball). It might be worth giving them the green light on first pitches if that's the way teams are going to play them.

I also have a question for you, Jeff:

Any truth to the rumor that the O's are working on a multi-year deal with Trembley before some of the big-money teams can scoop him up at season's end?

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Jeff Z's reply: That's cold, Richard.

I agree with everyone who's praised these articles. Great idea, and whomever you might have to persuade to let you do more of these, let them know that we love them!

Next, I'd like to see scouts' takes on top prospects like Bell, Snyder, Erbe, Spoone, etc.

Jeff Z,

Will Reimold ever be 100% ? I have heard doubts. If there is a surgery or something that can get him back to 100%, the O's should go that route. Maybe its just rest?? Get him healthy first.

Glad to see the scouts still hold him in high regard.

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Jeff Z's reply: Trembley speculated earlier this season that Reimold may never be 100 percent back to where he was. So I guess that is indeed possible.

Reimold and Wieters are my favorites. They are/were the reason I was still paying attention and coming to games. I know Reimold got off to a slow start and is still recovering, but he should never have been sent down. Right now if they can't win, they should at least keep players the fans like instead of adding new players who have worse numbers than the guy they demoted.

Jeff,
Thanks for doing pieces like this. This is the kind of stuff real fans want to hear about. I really like Reimold and thought, if healthy, he could hit 25 to 30 HR's this year and no one plays harder.

That said, I was really upset that they let him play this spring when he clearly was not healthy - and I posted many times that it not only risked destroying his confidence but could jeopardize his entire career. Andy and Dave needed to be the grown ups and sit him down, but instead they decided to use Pie, a 4th or 5th outfielder at best, to create a false competition.

Now as he struggled so badly at AAA, you have to wonder if he can really bounce back. That said, since leaving for a couple of days for the birth of his child he seems to be turning the corner (2 more hits tonight). Let's hope he gets healthy - physically and mentally.

I still think his future is at first base.

Jeff,
I believe that Trembley is right on with the speculation that Reimold may not ever be 100% again, and the team should plan accordingly.
On the other hand, Brian Roberts may be in the same situation. The back is another very touchy part of the body. Many people hurt their backs and stay in therapy for years....some for the rest of their lives. The team may have to get low-salaried Hairston or Fontenot back.

Jeff,
The team is clearly having no success with the current roster of players. One would think that almost any of the players on the current roster are expendable. With Roberts' career possibly closing with a very serious back problem, Markakis' complete loss of power, Jones' inability to lay off bad pitches and to make contact, and Weiters' very slow development at the ML level, do you believe that there are any Orioles players who should be considered as untouchable at the trade deadline or over the winter ?

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Jeff Z's reply: Well, the old saying is you don't trade low. You trade high. So there is no reason you would trade Jones now when he is playing so poorly. I still think Matusz and Wieters are untouchables, and they're not trading Markakis either.

Very good article. I look forward to the scouts take on Bell, Arrietta, Snyder, Britton, Angle, and others.. I wonder if this foot thing will ever let reimold reach his peak but probably not at OF. Maybe 1B but we still need a feared HR guy to protect our hitters as Markakis is proving this year.

Is Atkins still on the O's Roster? Why??

We could use the 3 or 4 outs.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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