BALTIMORE -- The Orioles lost the services of left fielder Nolan Reimold on Friday, when the rookie was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a case of fraying in his left Achilles tendon. Reimold will undergo corrective surgery on Wednesday and will spend three to four months of the winter in rehabilitation.
Reimold, who was bothered by the injury for most of the season, still distinguished himself in the big leagues. The former second-round Draft pick came up in mid-May and still wound up leading American League rookies in home runs (15), on-base percentage (.365), slugging percentage (.466) and walks (47) up to the time he was shut down.
"I think there's always that chance that it's going to get worse," said Reimold. "It started at the beginning of the year, and until now, I've played a long time on it. It hasn't been feeling very good at all lately. I think it's just gotten to that point where the best thing is to shut it down and do what I've got to do to be ready for next year."
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley has leaned heavily on Reimold as the season has progressed, and he's even tried the right-handed hitter at the cleanup spot. Trembley has even protected Reimold -- who has also dealt with knee and hamstring ailments -- by slotting him at designated hitter as often as possible.
Trembley played coy Friday when asked if his team will need a roster move to replace Reimold, but he has said in the past that Lou Montanez would be the likely callup if his team needed an extra outfielder. For now, Trembley said the club will progress with Jeff Fiorentino and Luke Scott splitting time in the outfield.
As for Reimold, Trembley said he was thrilled with the effort he got from the 25-year-old.
"I think he's been reluctant to give anybody the impression that he couldn't play, didn't want to play, end the season early," the manager said. "I think he's an extremely competitive young man. He had a great season."
Trembley said he'd rather not use Ty Wigginton in left field down the stretch, and he said he didn't really consider anything except Reimold's health when deciding whether to shut him down. Having said that, Trembley also said he hoped his left fielder would get some consideration for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
"I wish he could have played the final two weeks of the season," Trembley said. "Because I think he's one of the top three rookie candidates in the league. He didn't play a full season [and] he didn't make the team out of Spring Training, but I think he has solidified his spot out there. He's earned it."
Reimold, who said his rehabilitation likely will take him into January, expects to be in top condition for Spring Training 2010. And while he would've liked to finish strong, he's aware he didn't really have a choice.
"I hate to stop playing now, but I think, going forward, this is probably the best decision," he said. "I think, all in all, I've had a good year. Being 100 percent ready for next year is a big priority."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.