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.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?