Nolan Reimold started at first base for Triple-A Norfolk yesterday, as you know if you've been reading this blog. And the reasoning is fairly obvious.
"The club does want to see what he can do at first base. That's why he was taking ground balls there at the end of spring training and why he was doing it here. And it was a good opportunity for him when he went to Triple-A to see if he could get acclimated to that there," manager Dave Trembley said.
"There's a need right now. He did at one time, and I still think he does, even though he didn't have a very good start here, nor did he have a good spring, he does profile out as a guy who could be a pretty good run producer. And to be perfectly honest with you, you followed our team and you saw him, I don't know if he's ever going to be able to move the way he did before the Achilles problem in the outfield. I don't know if that's ever going to come back. And watching him play in the outfield, I don't know personally if he's going to be able to handle that night after night after night after night out there.
"It still looks like he's a little bit behind physically. Not because he hasn't worked at it, because he had major surgery. So, if something else works and you can get him in the lineup, why not try it, instead of trying it at the big league level? The minor leagues are called 'player development,' so let him try it in the minor leagues and see what he does there. It can't hurt."
Trembley doesn't know the plan for Reimold beyond the following:
"I think it's to play more than once in a while," Trembley said. "When he went down there, it was, take some ground balls at first, start working him into first base, let's start getting his hitting back to where it was and let's let him play over there."
Extra fact: Reimold made one other professional appearance at first before yesterday. He entered a June 30, 2005 game for Aberdeen as a pinch-hitter and played first in the top of the ninth.
Shuffling topics, the Orioles still aren't discussing a possible switch in positions for third baseman Miguel Tejada. They aren't considering a return to shortstop.
"I've never heard that," Trembley said.
Trembley described Tejada as "better than expected" at third base, "but not surprising, because the guy has good hands and a strong arm and a tremendous work ethic. But you never know until you've got him out there. I think he's gotten a lot better since the spring. A lot better."
I've written how Koji Uehara is the other closer option for the Orioles. Trembley said he could envision Uehara filling that role "because he throws strikes."
"He's not a strikeout pitcher and he's a fly ball pitcher, which, I don't know if that particularly is your recipe for success when you're a closer, but he does throw strikes and he usually gets three outs with a minimum of pitches," Trembley said.
Uehara told pitching coach Rick Kranitz during the spring that he'd gladly take on that challenge. It's worth remembering if Alfredo Simon has a few more meltdowns and doesn't learn to count to 1-2-3.