Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Spring So Far...

The Orioles have had a pretty solid Spring so far. The team sits a a practice record of 4-3-1 so far.

Nolan Reimold is playing strong.

So far Reimold is batting .333 with a .722 SLG and an OPS well over 1.0. After working out most of the Winter with former Oriole slugging center fielder Brady Anderson Reimold seems to have found his batting stroke again. Anderson has had nothing but astounding praise for the young player who came crashing down to Earth last year after a promising rookie campaign.

Going into this Spring questions about Reimold's ability almost led to him being traded, reportedly, to Tampa Bay for shortstop Jason Bartlett and most likely led the Orioles to picking up DH Valdimir Guerrero. Now Nolan is battling for a roster spot and had a perceived uphill climb due to the age old conditions that are minor league options. Reimold has one, ourfielder Felix Pie does not. Pie's defensive superiority was thought to have given him the leg up but as the Spring has gone on Felix's bat has yet to arrive. In four games thus far Pie has put up a brutal .615 OPS and frankly has just vanished. That is to say, I haven't heard his name mentioned in any light - high or low.

Pie has a reputation of sulking a bit when things don't quite go his way. During his benching in the 2009 season it took Luke Scott's tough love to kick him into gear.

Pie is probably still the favorite to make the team as of right now in the early going due to his option and the need for a backup outfielder that can play both left field and center field but so long as Nolan keeps his bat alive he may force manager Showalter and GM MacPhail's hand and get his bat in the lineup somehow. Reimold was a fan favorite almost instantly when he broke on to the team in 2009 and his fall in 2010 was hard to watch on both a blogger and personal level. Keep an eye on him, this could get interesting.

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