Reimold demoted, Patterson called up
Roberts transferred to 60-day DL to make room on the roster
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles sent struggling outfielder Nolan Reimold to Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday and selected the contract of veteran outfielder Corey Patterson from the Tides, hoping that Patterson's experience as a leadoff hitter would help shake them out of their offensive doldrums.
The move also means the Orioles will be without second baseman Brian Roberts, who was shuttled to the 60-day disabled list to accommodate Patterson's arrival, until at least June 9. Roberts is slowly recovering from a herniated disk in his back that has required two epidural injections and extended rest.
"We held on as long as we possibly could with [Reimold]," manager Dave Trembley said. "This was a discussion that had been going on for a while. I was hoping he was going to hit himself through it. But we got to a point where he wasn't getting much success here, and he needs to go to Triple-A and gets some success."
Baltimore replaces Reimold, who was batting .205 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 29 games, with Patterson, who went 1-for-5 with a run scored while leading off and playing left field Wednesday night. The 30-year-old Patterson is beginning his second tour of duty with the Orioles.
Trembley said Roberts became involved in the transaction when the second baseman spoke with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail on Tuesday and reported no progress in his recovery. Roberts has yet to resume baseball activities and there is no timetable established for his return.
"Thirty days have already gone by," Trembley said. "Andy had a conversation with Brian yesterday to find out where he was at, and it was decided that he is going to need at least another 30 days. So we needed a roster spot, so that's why that decision was made."
Asked when he expected Roberts back in action, Trembley added: "I have gone by the premise that was given to me earlier that it wasn't days, it was weeks. So I have stayed along those lines in thinking that is where we were at. I know Brian did relay that he feels that he wants to start upping his activities in the next few days. I hope that is the case, because obviously it would be our benefit to get him back here as soon as we can. But we want to get him back here when he is 100 percent."
News of Reimold's demotion caught his teammates by surprise, even though Patterson's name was written into the lineup posted in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game.
"It's crazy that he's the one that moved," center fielder Adam Jones said. "He's just got to go down there and rake Triple-A pitching -- act like he doesn't even belong there, because he doesn't. [He needs to] come back up here with a new mentality and start back over."
Patterson, who was signed by the Orioles to a Minor League contract April 21, opted out of his deal with the Mariners at the end of Spring Training, when it became evident he wouldn't break camp with them. He re-signed with Baltimore on a Minor League deal and was assigned to Norfolk, where he batted .368 (21-for-57), hitting safely in 12 of 14 games and recording an 11-game hitting streak. Patterson played 267 games for the Orioles in 2006-07 after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs.
"You always feel, I guess in general, you leave organizations [and] no way you're going to be back," Patterson said. "It happens occasionally. But I'm happy to be back here, I look forward to helping the team, contribute to some wins. There's obviously work to do, but I'm looking forward to that."
Hitting leadoff may be Patterson's role now, but he isn't married to any batting position.
"I think people tend to make a big deal a little too much about certain spots in the lineup. You still have to have the same objective, and that's to get your pitch right where you want it and try to put a good swing on it, and if it's not there, lay off," he said. "Where you bat in the lineup, for me, can be a little overrated at times."
Trembley viewed the move as a necessity, given the depth of Reimold's growing frustration at the plate.
"We sent Nolan out and brought in Patterson here and hope it helps the club and helps Nolan. I hope it is a two-fold purpose here," Trembley said. "We need to get somebody that can spark our offense -- I am not putting it all on Corey, but he has been a leadoff guy in the past. He was playing very well at Triple-A. Nolan wasn't playing well here. It's unfortunate that these things happen, but they do happen."
Wigginton bruises wrist as he breaks up DP
BALTIMORE -- After getting plunked in his right wrist by Seattle shortstop Josh Wilson's throw in the second inning of Wednesday's game, Baltimore's Ty Wigginton might want to think twice about raising his arms while sliding.
Wigginton slid into second base with his arms raised on Luke Scott's grounder to second and was forced out. But Wilson's attempted relay to first didn't complete the double play; it struck Wigginton, bruising his wrist, which was protectively bandaged after the 5-2 Orioles victory.
"Actually I was just going up there, hoping that [the] shortstop would change his arm angle or something, maybe throw it away," Wigginton said. "It's hard to get a double play. You are taught to throw [your arms] up there, and I think we'll keep them lower next time."
The welts on his right wrist are a reminder.
"There is a little bruise, seam marks on there," he said. "But we'll be good to go [Thursday]."
Jones remains confident despite struggles
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones knows he's pressing. He acknowledges that his ability to recognize and react to pitches hasn't been very good. But he bristles when observers question his confidence at the plate.
"Confidence has never, ever been a question," Jones said. "I don't like it when people ever question my confidence. I'm the same player every day. It's the sport -- the other team's trying to succeed, and they're doing a good job succeeding against me individually and us as a team."
Though it's hardly shown in his statistics, Jones insists that he feels comfortable at the plate and tangible positive results are just a couple of base hits away. Jones did break out somewhat in Wednesday's victory, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. In 33 games, Jones is hitting only .245 with three home runs and eight RBIs. Because he's bounced around the batting order, and assumed different roles, Jones has yet to flash his speed -- he's tried to steal only three times and been successful once.
"I feel fine up there," he said. "The results aren't what everybody wants, but you got to play the game. It's a tough game. You got to go out there and play. I'm not conceding anything to anybody."
Jones thinks his approach is the key. He's tried to get away from his free-swinging ways and focus on solid contact.
"I swing at a lot of stuff," he said. "I tried to tone it down, obviously, in the last couple of games, just trying to square up some balls. And I've done it the last couple of games. It's a matter of me just going out and playing ball and not trying to do too much. Because when I do too much, it shows."
The arrival of Corey Patterson, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday afternoon, could benefit Jones by pushing him permanently out of the leadoff spot until Brian Roberts returns from back problems.
"I don't care what stats say," Jones said. "What do stats prove? I don't care where I hit, as long as someone's on base. It's good to have a leadoff hitter. Our main guy is out and he's been out for the season so far. Hopefully he can be that spark for our lineup that we need."
Gonzalez continues rehab program
BALTIMORE -- Injured closer Michael Gonzalez continues to rehabilitate his strained left shoulder at the Orioles' Minor League complex in Sarasota, Fla., and the left-hander isn't close to returning from the 15-day disabled list.
"He's on the throwing program," said manager Dave Trembley. "When he gets up on a mound, I'll let you know, but he's on a throwing program that's all flat ground."
Gonzalez was placed on the DL on April 14, retroactive to April 10, after struggling through three outings and compiling an 0-2 record, one save and an 18.00 ERA. He signed a two-year, $12 million deal in December, but his injury has forced the Orioles to turn their ninth-inning duties over to converted starting pitcher Alfredo Simon.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.