Rookie of the Year candidate Nolan Reimold was shut down by the Orioles on Friday, with the simultaneous announcement that he’d undergo surgery for an Achilles’ tendon injury next Wednesday. He’s expected to need 3-4 months to recover, giving him plenty of time to get ready for spring training.
Reimold was the most productive hitter in the AL rookie class after an Adam Jones injury brought him to the majors in mid-May. It originally figured to be a short-term assignment, but he took over as the everyday left fielder and hit .279/.365/.466 with 15 homers in 358 at-bats. He also swiped eight bases in 10 attempts.
Realistically, Reimold needed a big final three weeks if he had any shot of winning any hardware. Elvis Andrus has probably been at least as valuable as Reimold once defense is factored in. Jeff Niemann has a 12-6 record and a 3.80 ERA as the AL‘s top rookie starter. Also, Oakland‘s Andrew Bailey has been one of the circuit’s very best relievers and deserves strong consideration.
Reimold, though, accomplished exactly what he needed to this year. He entered spring training with no chance at all of making the Orioles, yet now he’ll enter 2010 guaranteed of being the team’s primary left fielder.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.