As Baltimore’s roster stands right now, there’s a bit of a redundancy at left field and DH. Manager Dave Trembley said Monday that it’s a nice problem to have, and he downplayed the possibility of solving the problem by playing Nolan Reimold or Luke Scott at first base.
Scott auditioned for the role in September, but Trembley said Monday that he’d much prefer to slot the veteran at either left field or designated hitter. The only problem there is the twin presence of Reimold and Felix Pie, who figure to split time next season.
“I think it’s a nice thing to be able to sort out, especially the way Pie played the second half of the season,” he said. “Unfortunately, he got to play a lot because [Adam] Jones was hurt. But I know there is a lot of interest in Pie [and] you’ve got to like what Reimold did. You still have Luke Scott. I think as we get closer towards Spring Training, it will all sort itself out.”
Pie represents the best defender out of the three, as well as the player with the highest upside. The Orioles will likely allow him to take the lion’s share of at-bats in left, and Trembley said that he doesn’t want to try to convert Reimold to first base in Spring Training.
“I’m not totally against it,” he said. “I just don’t know how practical that is in a short period of time in Spring Training, teaching a guy to play first base at the Major League level who has never done it before. I think in a perfect situation, it probably would’ve been better — if he had been healthy — maybe we could have sent him to Instructional League or Winter Ball. …I’m sure that’s probably going to be discussed in the next day or so about Reimold.”
— Spencer Fordin
Luke Scott continued Baltimore’s late-season run of injured outfielders on Wednesday night, when he left the game with a strained muscle in his left foot. Scott, who had gone 1-for-3 with a single in the first seven innings, was replaced in the outfield by Ty Wigginton.
The Orioles have seen Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie all go out with season-ending injuries in the last few weeks. The roster crunch has gotten so bad that the team had to activate Lou Montanez from the 60-day disabled list before they wanted to do so, and September callup Jeff Fiorentino has seen more action than expected.
Wigginton spent the second half of 2008 as an outfielder but had yet to play there in ’09 before Wednesday night. The veteran reserve has played at all the infield positions this season, and manager Dave Trembley had said he’d like to avoid spotting him in the outfield.
Luke Scott smiled Sunday morning when asked if his recent illness may have cleared his head and allowed him to take a step back from the game. “We’ll see,” he said.
And though that cryptic reply could’ve meant anything, Scott didn’t make the public wait too long to find out. Scott, who had been hitting .149 since the All-Star break, came out and doubled and homered off Angels starter Sean O’Sullivan in his first two at-bats.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley had his batting order decisions made for him on Friday, when Luke Scott had to sit out due to an illness. Trembley had wanted to get Felix Pie in the lineup, and Scott’s brush with a virus gave him the perfect opportunity.
“It was a 50-50 thing for him the other day [and] he wanted to play,” said Trembley of Scott, who is experiencing flu-like symptoms. “I called him early today around noon, and he saw the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics. He’s going to move around a little bit and see how he is, but I think he’ll be better after the antibiotics get in his system for 24 hours.”
Scott, who has complained of a sore throat and a nagging fatigue, has struggled mightily since the All-Star break. Baltimore’s designated hitter has batted .149 with a .230 on-base percentage and a .250 slugging mark, so the extra day off may do him well in the long run.
kinda groggy, throats been sore;
Adam Jones homered in the first inning on
Wednesday, marking the third straight day that he’s launched
a round-tripper in his first at-bat. Baltimore’s center
fielder now has 17 home runs this season, which puts him
behind Luke Scott for second place on the
Baltimore’s outfield will suffer a loss due to attrition at some point next week, when reserve Lou Montanez will likely opt for a corrective surgery to repair a thumb injury. Montanez could miss a few months, changing the substitution pattern in Baltimore’s outfield.
Manager Dave Trembley said that Montanez could play as a reserve in the next few days if he’s needed, and he also said he expects Luke Scott to return at some point next week. At this point, Trembley just wants Montanez to heal as quickly as possible.
“He has a partial tear in the thumb area,” said Trembley. “He’s going to opt to get it taken care of, and he has our full support there. He’s going to get it done sometime next week.”
Montanez, who won the Triple Crown in the Double-A Eastern League last year, was called up late in the ’08 season and hit a home run in his first career at-bat. He hasn’t had as much success this season, batting just .204 with six RBIs in his first 18 games.
Baltimore will likely play rookie Nolan Reimold in left field for the foreseeable future, but Felix Pie and Scott will also get their share of playing time out in the outfield.
The Orioles gave their injured designated hitter a day off on Friday. Luke Scott, who’s trying to recover from a strained left shoulder, will resume activities Saturday and could be eligible to return by Tuesday. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said the Orioles are still uncertain as to whether Scott will need a rehab stint before he’s able to rejoin his teammates.
“With Luke Scott, we’re going to try and get him to hit for tomorrow and then we’ll go from there,” said Trembley. “We’ll try to get him to hit, and he’s not swinging the bat today.”