Monday, February 28, 2011
Nolan Reimold, 2009 Topps 206 #199
With first pitch occurring a few minutes after 1:00, the Birds kicked off their Grapefruit League schedule with a fairly breezy 6-4 win over the Pirates in Bradenton, FL. Vlad Guerrero started his Orioles career with two singles, including an infield hit to drive in the first run of the game. Brad Bergesen and longshot invitee Ryan Drese each pitched two scoreless innings. The most encouraging performance came from Nolan Reimold, who hit a towering home run in his first at-bat and walked three times. Coming off of a disastrous and injury-plagued 2010 season, the outfielder isn't even guaranteed a roster spot in April. But he was able to play the entire game this afternoon and showcased the strong batting eye and powerful stroke that made him a Rookie of the Year candidate two years ago. Whether Guerrero and Luke Scott are on the active roster for the full season or not, there's no question that a healthy and focused Reimold makes the O's a stronger team.
I was even able to listen to the final inning on WBAL as I left work late in the afternoon. It felt good, especially when Josh Rupe struck out Ryan Doumit for the 27th out and Joe Angel threw it to commercial: "We'll be right back with the lovely totals."
32 days to go.