BALTIMORE -- Nolan Reimold hasn't been playing, and it's something that manager Buck Showalter admits bothers him.
"It's been a challenge," Showalter said of using Reimold, who last started on June 15 and has just five at-bats since. "We keep hoping that Luke [Scott] can get it going. We went through a period where there were a lot of left-handed pitchers, so it was pretty easy. We are going through a period now where it is just the opposite. It's something that, on my list of things that kind of bug me, that's one of them."
Reimold entered Tuesday hitting .261 with three homers and eight RBIs in 20 games, and though his playing time has been limited, it's not a case where the organization feels he would be better served playing every day in Triple-A, which was the case with infielder Ryan Adams.
"I like having Nolan on my team and the contributions he can make," Showalter said. "He had a couple, I thought, good at-bats in the National League games. He gives us some good options, because we are going back into that mode shortly [with the weekend series in Atlanta]."
Orioles activate Simon, designate Rapada
BALTIMORE -- Alfredo Simon (strained right hamstring), who has been on the disabled list since June 15, was activated on Wednesday after reporting to Class A Advanced Frederick on Tuesday.
To open a spot for Simon on the 25-man roster, left-handed reliever Clay Rapada was designated for assignment. Rapada posted a 7.30 ERA in 22 games for the Orioles, holding left-handers to a .114 average (4-for-35), but allowing nine hits in 13 at-bats (.692) against right-handed batters.
"Obviously, I think a lot of the move was dictated by we need some length in the bullpen," manager Buck Showalter said. "And Clay, he did what he was designed to do statistically with left-handers, but we just weren't able to carry [a specialist], weren't in position with our starters not going as deep as we hoped. Down the road [maybe], but it really wasn't a fit for Clay."
The Orioles now have 10 days to release, trade or place Rapada on waivers, with July 8 being the deadline. It is likely Baltimore will try to pass the lefty through waivers, at which point Rapada can either accept or decline an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. Refusing the assignment is an option for Rapada since he has already been outrighted to the Minors.
While the Orioles are losing their left-handed specialist, the club is gaining a potential long reliever, the perfect remedy for starting pitchers struggling to go late into games.
"A lot of times a specialist is always nice, but not necessarily needed," closer Kevin Gregg said. "They're a convenience to have, but you got Koji [Uehara] and you got [reliever Jim Johnson] and myself. In our past, we've all matched up well against left-handers. And then you add [Michael Gonzalez] in there, and you have four guys that, in their careers, they've matched up well against lefties.
"It's kind of give-and-take. Clay did a great job for us in the roles we asked him to do, but the game is coming forward and you have to look to what kind of left-handers we have coming up, and the need for this team to have a long reliever, and they kind of balance each other out."
Gonzalez, Johnson, Uehara and Gregg have a combined average ERA of 3.33 against left-handed hitters this season, with Uehara having the lowest at 2.04 and Gregg with the highest at 5.93.
Simon said that if a starter has trouble pitching a lot of innings, the right-hander is ready to go four or five innings to bridge the gap to the later frames. In five appearances this year, Simon is 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA over 14 1/3 innings.
Manager Buck Showalter expressed concern over designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who bats in the cleanup spot. Guerrero has six home runs this season, which ties him for fifth on the team.
Derrek Lee is two hits away from 1,900 for his career.
The Cardinals played at Camden Yards for the first time on Tuesday.
The Orioles agreed to terms on Tuesday with right fielder Jalen Simmons, their 24th-round Draft pick.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Avi Zaleon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.