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Reimold plays first game with O's since '13

Oft-injured outfielder appreciates club's loyalty

BALTIMORE -- It took a second corrective neck surgery and stints with two other Major League organizations, but Nolan Reimold was back in the Orioles' lineup Tuesday for the first time since July 13, 2013.

The Orioles optioned Cesar Cabral to Triple-A Norfolk and selected Reimold's contract Monday in a move he truly appreciates.

"I do feel a sense of loyalty here in Baltimore, and I think they care about what happens to me here, so that's one of the big reasons why I chose to come back here," he said. "I'm not taking it for granted. It's been a while since I've been here, so I'm really happy."

Reimold, who was drafted by Baltimore in 2005, showed promise in '09, when he played in 104 games as a rookie. He had a .279 batting average with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs.

The next two seasons didn't go as well for the outfielder, as he hit .207 in '10 and .247 in '11, but Reimold showed a promise in 16 games to start '12 before suffering a herniated cervical disk in his neck while diving into the stands for a ball in Chicago.

A surgery to remove the disk ended his season, and Reimold returned to play in 40 games in '13 before undergoing a second season-ending corrective neck surgery.

After starting last season on the 15-day disabled list then the 60-day DL with the Orioles, Reimold was designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays. He played in 22 games with Toronto and was again designated for assignment and picked up by Arizona, where he played in just seven games.

Reimold was acquired by Baltimore on Feb. 9, 2015, and signed to a Minor League contract. He says that he feels healthy and thinks he's at a point where he can contribute to the team.

"The key for me is to stay on the field. So far, I have been able to that," Reimold said as he knocked on his wooden locker."

Baltimore is in need of an offensively productive left fielder and Reimold was hitting .286/.351/.389 with two home runs, 13 RBIs and 22 runs scored in 46 games with Norfolk this season. Cabral made his Orioles debut Saturday in Cleveland and pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk.

"I'm proud for Nolan and proud for the way the organization handled it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Like I said, we all like Nolan and his story, but this isn't some charity. We think he can help us."

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for
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