DUNEDIN, Fla. – Two years ago, the Orioles had Vladimir Guerrero as their designated hitter. Manager Buck Showalter felt hamstrung by Guerrero’s inability to play other positions.
Showalter wanted flexibility last year, but circumstances forced him into using Chris Davis as his DH for much of last year. This year, he’s trusting Davis with the first base job, and he’d like to use multiple players in the spot.
Wilson Betemit is the main candidate to be the DH against right-handers while Russ Canzler and Danny Valencia are the favorites to swing against left-handers. Nolan Reimold could get into the mix as could regulars who Showalter wants to give a breather.
Showalter said he’s happy with the choices he has.
“We’re answering the questions here,” Showalter said. “We’re going to find it right here. We spent a lot of time getting this group in. We’re going to look in our backyard before we start looking somewhere else. That backyard might extend to Twin Lakes, you never know.”
Twin Lakes is where the Orioles’ minor league complex is located.
Showalter doesn’t think that Reimold will get the majority of the DH at-bats.
“If Nolan is 100 percent, he is going to impact our club, whether it’s left field. Nolan can play right field. Nolan can DH. That’s why we feel comfortable with the DH thing,” Showalter said. “I don’t see him being a pure DH.”