Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not So Fast, Nolan Reimold Detractors

A quick rebuttal to Stacey Long's post about Nolan Reimold over at Camden Chat and answering the question, "(H)as Reimold lived up to the justification" of the Reimold in Exile/Free Nolan Reimold sentiment.

Let me first address the terminology that Stacy uses.

...to prove himself at the minor league level before being handed a major league job....Nolan Reimold hasn't done anything to deserve a major league job.

We have to get past this concept of "handed" or "deserves" a major league roster spot. This isn't about merit or proving one's self. It's just not.

Reimold was and is a viable option in this lineup and can help the team. There is no need to make him earn anything. If you feel he can help the team, you give him a spot. (Conversely, if you don't, maybe you should shop him around...) He shouldn't have to break down the door. It's better for the team if he's playing in Baltimore.

Why is it better? It will be helpful to find out if Reimold can be a regular major league player. The only way to find out for sure...is to let him play in the majors. If he flames out, the team knows they need to find another option for next season through free agency. If he plays well, he's a low-cost solution in left (or at first base) and the team can spend money elsewhere to fill other holes in the roster (of which there are many). This team is not going to contend (or likely win) with the "veteran presence" they signed in the offseason. You might as will find out what you have in house.

But future considerations are not the only reason to let Nolan play. He could actually help the team now. More than the current options on the roster.

It is no secret that I was against the Vlad Guerrero signing. Not because I didn't like Vlad as a hitter at this point in his career (although I didn't) but because they had already signed Derrek Lee to play first base and that Vlad wasn't filling a hole but blocking an option that could be more valuable in the short term and certainly in the long term.

And I'm not crazy about reading too much into 15 or 20 games but that's the premise that was laid out, so it is the premise that I must refute.

I ran Reimold's numbers through the Minor League Equivalency Calculator on MinorLeagueSplits.com. Here's the results compared to Guerrero's actual numbers this season:

                      AB  R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI  BB   K    BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   
Reimold Equivalent    63  5  15    1    0    2    5    6  21  .235  .320  .328  .648
Guerrero 2011         83  7  22    2    0    3    9    0  13  .265  .265  .398  .663


Neither of those lines is great but is Vlad worth the extra $7.5 million in salary for that production?

(By the way, look at the 0 walks for Vlad. Zero. We are closing in fast on the first of May and the guy has zero walks. A 36-year old DH with zero walks. And we know that Stacy values walks.)

The fact that Reimold can play the field to some extent makes him a more valuable and versatile player. Right now. Today.

Forget about Reimold "earning" a chance. He doesn't have to earn a chance. He only has to be a better option than what's on the roster right now. And he's a better option than Guerrero right now. Right. Now.

And he hasn't even started to hit yet. I'll put my money on the guy a decade younger when looking for a rebound.

But things changed when the Orioles signed Vladimir Guerrero. Now, nothing short of an injury or a mid-season trade is going to give Reimold a chance to get promoted. I understand that's where the indignation comes from, and to an extent I understand. Vlad won't help the team long term, Reimold might, and whenever he's ready, he'll be stuck at AAA.

Yep, that pretty much sums up my indignation.

Reimold's ready enough for this team. He's better now, he's better for the future.

Free Nolan Reimold.

8 comments:

Jeff said...

For what it's worth I think (read: hope) Vlad gets traded before the deadline (potentially along with a few relievers, maybe Rapada)

Anonymous said...

lol...whats next? Free Josh Bell?

Lauren said...

I thought I was the only O's fan who was against the Vlad signing! I agree with this post on all accounts! Let Nolan play!

Joe Guido said...

Better Option Hands Down - Nolan Reimold

Ticket sales are valued more than actual production/wins...see Sosa, Tejeda, and Vlad as prime examples of classic Peter Angelos management.

Roar from 34 said...

I don't dispute your logic even though I've never really been sold on Reimold.

As for numbers, I'm definitely not sold on the minor league equivalency calculator. Do you know the formulas used? Seems like there'd be way too many factors to control. It's almost two different games between the two levels.

I'd love to see a post that takes a look at it in greater depth.

Heath said...

Jeff: I agree that he will probably be traded but aging DH's don't bring back a ton of value even when they are hitting well.

Anonymous: No Josh Bell. Until he demonstrates the ability to take a walk at some level, I am not optimistic.

Lauren: Thanks! I get more crap over this issue than any I have ever written about.

Joe: Ironically, the team isn't exactly setting ticket sale records, even with Vlad on board.

Matt: Obviously, any projection from minors to the majors is more art than science. The link to the MLE calculator is here:

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mlecalc.html

Some of the formulas are no longer public (Sean Smith went to work for an MLB team...) but it's still a pretty good guess.

Regardless of what you think of Reimold's abilities, this philosophy could apply to Brandon Snyder. What is he's still hitting well in three weeks or so? What is he's a late bloomer?

It just didn't make sense to sign both Vlad and Lee. It should have been one or the other and let the guy who was in contention for RoY a couple years ago take his hacks. What's the downside?

Anonymous said...

The Orioles should open up the desk drawer, pull out one of those giant rubber bands, and wrap it a few times around Nolan Reimold, Jake Fox, and Josh Bell.


Then throw them all back into the desk drawer, lock it, and forget that they even exist.

I think my comment may be redundant.

Heath said...

Wayward O?