Reimold set for second straight season-ending surgery
ARLINGTON -- Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will have season-ending surgery for the second consecutive year, as the 29-year-old is slated to undergo corrective surgery Tuesday at the Florida Spine Institute to fix a spinal fusion procedure performed last June.
Reimold, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with nerve inflammation in the cervical spine, will be transferred to the 60-day DL the next time the team needs a 40-man-roster spot. The news is the latest in a rough two-year stretch for Reimold, who has played in just 56 games since the start of the 2012, despite rehabbing aggressively to be a full-go from Day 1 of this year's Spring Training.
"It's like I told him, 'I don't think you'll realize how much of a challenge it was for you physically until you get it right.' And then you go, 'My gosh, I was trying to work though that?'" manager Buck Showalter. "It's one thing when doctors free them up to resume activity. Maybe they are telling them for a guy working 9-5 behind a desk as opposed to a guy playing Major League Baseball against the best players in the world. Those are two different things."
Reimold had his first neck surgery -- the same procedure quarterback Peyton Manning underwent -- at Johns Hopkins Hospital by neurosurgeon Dr. Ziya Gokaslan.
"I think Nolan feels better that it wasn't something he was trying to do wrong. Did he overdo it? I bet he did, because that's Nolan -- the same reason why you like him," Showalter said. "I got a good feeling this will have a happy ending in a lot of ways. He seemed, the last time I talked to him, real 'Let's go.' Now you can see it in black and white on a CAT scan, an MRI: 'Here's what it is and we are going to get it right.' I think he has a lot of confidence in the people doing it. Nolan has done his homework."
Reimold, who saw neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Kowalski at the Spine Institute over the All-Star break, hasn't played more than 87 games in a season since his rookie year in 2009. After making the Opening Day roster, Reimold was placed on the disabled list May 18 -- retroactive to May 12-- with a right hamstring strain that nagged him throughout camp. Though he was activated earlier this month, he never looked quite right.
"I could tell the last couple games something just wasn't firing," Showalter said of Reimold, who hit for a .195/.250/.336 slash line in 40 games this season.
"It's kind of sad in a way, but you want to get it right. First of all, you just want to get his daily day-to-day activities and just living his life right. And the baseball part of it, I'm told, should come."
Reimold's roster spot was filled by Danny Valencia, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and joined the team for Thursday's workout in Texas. Valencia hit .230/.277/.508 in 21 games with the Orioles and posted a .314/.350/.607 slash line in 48 games with Norfolk. This will be his second stint with Baltimore, which optioned him on July 3 to clear a roster spot for pitcher Scott Feldman.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Valencia said of his role on the team. "Obviously whatever role they want for me to do, I'm going to try to do my best. If it's more at-bats, great. If not, I'm just going to have to embrace what I have to do."