SARASOTA, Fla. – Nolan Reimold feels at home when playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
The Greenville, Pa., native was drafted 61st overall in 2005 by the Orioles. He moved up through the minors at an average pace, making his major-league debut in 2009.
Cut by the team in 2014, he spent the season with the Toronto Blue Jays and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Orioles re-signed him in 2015 to a minor-league contract, accompanied by an invitation to spring training
“Feels really good (to be back),” said Reimold on Wednesday morning at Ed Smith Stadium. “(I) never wanted to leave in the first place, but there were extenuating circumstances.
“I am very happy to be back. It’s where I got drafted, where I’m comfortable, where I pretty much know everybody and know what goes on.”
At the start of the 2012, a new set of challenges appeared on the horizon for the left-fielder. He was sidelined for the entire season with a herniated disk, an injury he would later aggravate during the 2013 season.
“When an injury happens you really have to take your time to get back, the whole way, back to 100 per cent. You come back too quick and something else goes wrong and I was a victim of that a couple of times, so its been a long road back.”
The Bowling Green State University product struggled to stay healthy, but was prepared to do whatever it took to return to the diamond.
“Eat right, workout right, do the proper exercises,” said the 31 year old. “The key is not to slack off a bit, so hopefully keep doing that throughout the year and stay healthy.”
Reimold must also ensure that his performance, especially with his bat, allows him to return to his 2011 form, a year that saw him smack 13 home runs in 87 games.
“You have to perform to stay on the field and stay in the big leagues,” he said. “There are a lot of big things when it comes to hitting, a lot of it is physical, but the hardest part is the mental. When you are struggling, maintain your confidence, keep your approach, and work through the bad times.”
He received advice from a former Orioles’ great and currently the vice president of baseball operations regarding inconsistency and recovery.
“Brady Anderson has really helped me a lot,” said Reimold. “I’ve been through some times when I struggled a lot, and he was there to try and get me out of those slumps and the hard times that I went through.
“As far as coaches and friends in baseball, he is probably the biggest contributor to getting me back to where I am.”
Reimold has nothing but appreciation for the Baltimore Orioles organization, and is thankful that he was given a second chance. When asked about his experience as a Blue Jay, it became clear that his heart was with another team.
“(They’re) Good guys, good team; nothing bad to say about the team,” said Reimold. “But maybe when I was there I was still looking for hopefully getting back here.”
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