The Washington Times - May 14, 2009, 12:44AM

International League pitchers breathed a collective sigh of relief Wednesday night when they learned that the Baltimore Orioles had summoned Nolan Reimold to the majors. The 25-year-old outfielder launched a mammoth shot against the Durham Bulls on Opening Day and never cooled down, hitting .394 with nine home runs and 27 RBI for the Norfolk Tides in his first taste of Triple-A ball. With Luke Scott and Adam Jones dealing with injuries, the Orioles are hoping that Reimold will continue his season-long tear with the big-league club.

Reimold has performed well at every minor league level since the Orioles took him in the second round of the 2005 draft out of Bowling Green, but his progress was slowed by injuries. He battled nagging foot and back problems in 2006 and was limited to just 59 games in 2007 due to an oblique strain. Finally healthy for a full season in 2008, Reimold hit .284 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI for the Double-A Bowie Baysox, then batted .412 with another four jacks and 11 RBI in the Eastern League playoffs.


It remains to be seen whether Orioles manager Dave Trembley views Reimold as his everyday left fielder from here on out or just a short-term injury fill-in, but either way, Reimold is a big part of the team’s future plans and he’ll at least have a chance to make an impression. I had a chance to speak with Reimold late last June, and he provided some insight into his approach at the plate and his efforts to put his injury issues in the rear-view.

Q: You’ve really come on lately after a slow start. What kinds of adjustments did you make?

A: I’ve been working on my load, my stance, and stuff like that, and it took me a little while to get comfortable with it. It’s working out for me lately, but I’m just looking to improve from month to month, and by the end of the year, I’ll be where I want to be.

Q: Were you surprised that the O’s had you start the year in double-A after the success you had here last year?

A: No, not really. I only played 50 games or whatever it was, and I don’t know how much difference there is between double-A and triple-A - obviously I’ve never played triple-A, but this is a real strong league, so no matter where I’m at, I’ll get my at bats and just try to work on things I need to work on.

Q: Is there any player, past or present, that you’ve tried to model your approach after?

A: Honestly, no, not really. I mean, I watch a lot of guys, watch TV, watch the big leaguers hit and stuff but there’s nobody in particular - anybody that hits well, I guess. (Laughs)

Q: Could you describe your approach at the plate? Do you come into an at bat looking for a specific pitch, or do you just react to what’s thrown?

A: You know, it depends on the pitcher. Early in the game when nobody’s on, normally you just look fastball and react to anything off-speed, but in different situations you look for different pitches and stuff. If there’s a guy on second with less than two outs, you try to move the runner and stuff like that, and that’s a big thing - they look at that a lot, so I’m trying to improve on that kind of stuff.

Q: To what extent do you utilize videotape and scouting reports when preparing to face a certain pitcher?

A: Earlier in the year I utilized video and watched how horrible my swing was (Laughs). I made some adjustments off of that, and that helped me out a lot, to see what I was doing. We never watch pitchers on videotape or anything like that - that’s all just memory, but the more you see them, the easier it is to hit off them.

Q: What are some of the aspects of your game that you’re trying to improve upon this year?

A: You know, I’m just trying to put the ball in play more, trying to strike out less. With the new approach that I was struggling with early in the year, it’s helped me out with that a lot. But you know, I just want to keep improving.

Q: You’ve battled a lot of injuries as a pro. Are you doing anything differently in conditioning to try to stay on the field?

A: I have been working out a lot, trying to maintain flexibility and that kind of thing. That’s a big thing for not being injured, I guess. Other than that, there’s not too much I could have done, I guess. I just had some bad luck in the past, but I’m doing everything I can to try to stay on the field.

Q: When do you think you’ll be ready to help the big league club?

A: I guess that’s up to them. I just want to come out and keep getting better from month to month and if they think I’m ready to help them out, then I’m ready.

Jay LeBlanc is an assistant news editor at The Washington Times. He can be reached at


Click here to view the original Nolan Reimold National Pastime Prospect Q&A