BALTIMORE -- Concerns that Nolan Reimold would not be able to make it off the disabled list by his May 16 eligibility date had been building for some time, and on Sunday, Baltimore's Opening Day starter in left field said he doesn't expect to be able to return that quickly.
Reimold had an epidural Friday morning in an attempt to treat a bulging disc in his cervical spine, and he said it will be three to five days before the results of the procedure can be interpreted. Manager Buck Showalter said Reimold would be examined on Monday.
"I'll see how it feels tomorrow and then go from there," Reimold said. "It could be a couple of days. It could be stretched out for a while. So hopefully that shot will work the first time and it'll be sooner rather than later."
Reimold has been dealing with neck spasms and a numbness in his fingers and hands for nearly a month now, at first shifting in and out of the lineup before finally landing on the DL.
Although he said he feels better now than he did two weeks ago, Reimold was unsure of what the timetable would be for a return from such an unusual injury.
"It definitely feels better than what it did before, so there's been progress," Reimold said. "Hopefully that puts me over the hump, the shot."
Showalter said that the decision on whether Reimold would head to Sarasota, Fla., for a rehab assignment would be made Monday. Reliever Matt Lindstrom will also learn his fate on Monday, the soonest Showalter said the club could get someone to interpret his MRI.
Showalter added that Endy Chavez, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique, will definitely be traveling to Sarasota.
Showalter also mentioned Mark Reynolds as a possibility for Sarasota. Reynolds was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained oblique.
Orioles don pink gear to raise awareness
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles took part in the league-wide Mother's Day celebration with the use of pink bats, wrist bands, cleats and other merchandise on Sunday.
Baltimore's Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and Adam Jones used the pink bats and combined for three hits and three RBIs in the game.
Wieters, who also wore pink cleats, used his pink bat to blast a two-run home run to right in the sixth. He also doubled off the left-center field wall in the second inning, later scoring on a single off the bat of Davis.
"Any time you can raise awareness for something like that I think it's a good thing," Davis said. "Especially the platform that we're on. I know a lot of people do stuff in the offseason to support their own cause, but when we can kind of all get together and do something like this and do it on a national stage, it's obviously going to help out."
Nick Markakis, who had two doubles and three RBIs, wore pink cleats, as did designated hitter Nick Johnson. All four members of the starting infield -- Davis, Robert Andino, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty -- joined Jones in wearing pink wristbands.
Tommy Hunter, a starting pitcher who did not appear in the game, made the brightest statement, wearing cleats that were solid pink throughout.
Davis said he felt the initiative was a good way to make a statement to his mom, who watches most of the team's games.
"Just to let her know I'm thinking about her, that I appreciate everything that she's done for me and that I love her," Davis said.
The Orioles pink bats will be available as part of MLB.com auction's opportunity, which also helps Komen for the Cure. The last part of the event is always the auctioning of the game-used and autographed pink bats to raise further funds. The auction increasingly represents a sizable chunk of the total that goes to Komen for overall funding for awareness, research and treatment of breast cancer.
Avery gets called up, starts first game
BALTIMORE -- When Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson called Xavier Avery into his office on Saturday and gave him the news, Avery was blown away.
Even after a solid Spring Training and a good start to the year in Triple-A, the 22-year-old Avery never imagined he'd make it to the Major Leagues this quickly.
"Ron Johnson called me in the office yesterday, he blew my hair back with it," Avery said. "I was caught off guard by it. I had no idea."
Avery hasn't slept since arriving in Baltimore around midnight, having his contract purchased just prior to Sunday's game and then batting leadoff and starting in left field in the series finale against the Rays.
Avery joins Steve Tolleson and Bill Hall as Orioles players who have started this week in their first game after getting the call up from Triple-A.
To make room for Avery, the Orioles optioned reliever Stu Pomeranz to Triple-A Norfolk and designated infielder Matt Antonelli for assignment.
Pomeranz was brought up on on Monday as a result of Baltimore's 17-inning game with Boston on Sunday and threw four scoreless innings during his first week.
Antonelli hit .204 with one home run and seven RBIs in 29 games with Norfolk after being signed on Nov. 21, 2011.
"Thinking of the idea of coming up here and playing, man, I don't even know how to explain it to you," Avery said. "I'm still in awe right now. I can barely talk to you right now. I'm so happy to be here because there's no place like the big leagues. This is the show."
Avery's express trip to the big leagues started picking up steam in Spring Training, when he hit .283 in 13 games.
That hot start translated to Norfolk, where Avery hit .273 and stole eight bases in 33 games.
"Xavier has done a good job taking some of the things that he was exposed to in Minor League camp and taking them to Norfolk," manager Buck Showalter said. "We just hope to keep it going, he's doing well down there."
Avery had been especially hot of late, hitting .429 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games.
"It's just my approach," Avery said. "I'm getting myself in hitter's counts and I'm taking full advantage of the situation when I get in those counts."
Avery expects to be comfortable in left field, where he made six of his 33 starts with Norfolk this year. Avery said he's played left field going back to high school and doesn't expect it to be a challenge for him.
Avery said he was focusing on staying calm and focused, and Showalter has tried to avoid discussing nerves and anxiety with him.
"I don't know, that's why it's fun to watch," Showalter said. "I'm looking forward to seeing [him] today."
With knee rested, Hammel to start Monday
BALTIMORE-- After being scratched from his Thursday start to rest a sore knee, Jason Hammel will start for the Orioles on Monday, manager Buck Showalter confirmed Sunday.
"We plan on him pitching Monday," Showalter said. "I saw him today, he came in, he had a smile on his face, got his normal stuff done. So the plan is for him to pitch tomorrow."
On Friday, Hammel said he hoped that a few extra days of rest would be all the knee needed, adding that the swelling and fluid had decreased significantly over the previous few days.
The knee first started to become an issue during his April 25 start against Toronto and grew worse with each progressive start, but Hammel said dealing with it this week would prevent it from being an issue that lingered throughout the season.
Hammel has been Baltimore's best starter this season, compiling a 4-1 record and a 2.09 ERA.
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.