All signs point to Nolan heading to the DL due to his neck/back issues. He's being replaced on the roster by... a third catcher? What?
UPDATE @ 5:25PM: The Twitter now says that Nolan will be sent to the DL right before the first pitch, just in case bad weather results in the game's postponement.
UPDATE @ 6:31PM: The Orioles have sent out the press release. The move is now official: Reimold to 15-day DL, eligible to come off on May 16. Luis Exposito recalled from AAA Norfolk.
As of this writing, there hasn't been any official word from the Orioles, but on Twitter, Britt Ghiroli has posted a picture of the Orioles' lineup card which includes the name of Luis Exposito on the bench and does not include Nolan Reimold at all. The indication would seem to be that Reimold will have to go on the DL to recover from his neck/back issues. Earlier in the day, there were indications that a roster move might be pending, as we were told that Reimold had not yet joined the team in Boston.
Exposito was claimed on waivers from the Red Sox, so it's interesting (in a not-really-interesting-but-everyone-will-say-it's-interesting kind of way) that he will get to potentially make his MLB debut in Boston. Since being claimed, he's played in 13 games for Norfolk and has batted .288/.339/.423.
This is a curious move to me because it leaves the Orioles without a 4th outfielder on the 25-man roster, and moreover, Endy Chavez is absolutely stinking it up at the plate, OPSing an astoundingly poor .293.
The Steve Melewskis of the world are being deployed as we speak to tell us that Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds "can play OF too", which, yes, you can write anyone's name in the lineup in left field and have them stand out there with a glove, but it doesn't mean they can play left field. We will get to find the results of this experiment right away, as Betemit is in the lineup tonight as the starting left fielder. Maybe the Orioles think that in Fenway, every ball to left is either a home run or off the Green Monster anyway, so what difference does it make? I don't actually believe they would think that, and I hope they don't, but I have no idea what would possess any person to think either Betemit or Reynolds in left is a good idea. We saw in the last series with New York what happens when you throw a random player in left field. The ball eventually found Eduardo Nunez and that helped cost New York a game.
None of the outfielders in Norfolk are exactly lighting the world on fire, which may be another reason for this move. Jai Miller has struck out 40 times in 76 at bats, though he has a .786 OPS in spite of this. Other potential call-ups are doing worse than that. Whether this would have made an impact, we'll never know.
We may be told that the roster move was determined by Exposito already being on the 40-man roster, but that would be rather shallow reasoning, given that Tsuyoshi Wada's pending Tommy John surgery means he can be safely sent to the 60-day disabled list, which would clear a 40-man roster space.
In the meantime, we'll be treated to stories about the flexibility that a third catcher on the roster gives to the Orioles, as demonstrated tonight by Ronny Paulino catching while Matt Wieters is at DH. I do approve of Matt Wieters' bat remaining in the lineup even when he's not catching, and you should too. This way, the O's 3rd catcher is not a mystery emergency catcher (probably Ryan Flaherty, because why not?) but an actual professional catcher.
Get well soon, Nolan! And good luck to Luis Exposito for as long as he's here.