PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Nolan Reimold was a scratch from Wednesday night's starting lineup against the Rays and will open the season on the disabled list, still unable to play the outfield as he rehabs from his second neck surgery in two seasons.
"The two times he tried [to play the outfield], looking up bothered him some," manager Buck Showalter said of Reimold, who played Tuesday and will have his DL stay backdated to Wednesday. "You probably got to be able to look up to play the outfield, depending on your pitching staff. But this buys us some time to get it back hopefully. He will take a few days off and then start hitting and see where it is, to try to get everything to quiet down. He's more sore than anything."
Showalter said there wasn't a specific instance that sparked the decision, just a measure to get him fully healthy. Reimold, who last played in the Majors last July 13, had neck fusion surgery after a previous fusion didn't work. With Reimold fighting for a roster spot, it's expected that both Steve Pearce and Delmon Young will now make the Opening Day roster.
"We talked to him, Nolan agrees he's not where he needs to be," Showalter said of Reimold, who went 10-for-38 with a homer and five RBIs in Grapefruit League games. "He's light-years ahead of where he was at this time last year. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. let's face it, the guy has had two neck fusions -- one that didn't get the results we hoped, and one that seems like he's done real well with.
"The last four, five games, he seems more comfortable. This guy missed two years. Now, we are trying to get him to the point where he doesn't think about it too much when he's hitting. He's almost full strength with his arm. Stuff that your back and vertebrae is supposed to do. It's pretty serious stuff obviously. I don't want to throw a wet blanket over it, he just needs a little more time."
The Orioles will also get a little more time to make a decision on Rule 5 Draft pick Michael Almanzar, who is likely headed to the DL with tendinitis in the patella of his left knee.
"Looks like we are headed there," Showalter said. "We were prepared to make a decision on him, but that will wait now. Shouldn't be too long."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.