Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore, that he's confident the team will find its designated hitter on its current roster and won't have to look to the free agent market.
"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."
Showalter likes to have flexibility at the DH position, and he admits that he felt restricted two seasons ago when veteran Vladimir Guerrero was on the roster. This is also the reason Baltimore didn't target free agents such as Travis Hafner and wasn't interested in re-signing Jim Thome.
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Instead of a more traditional DH, Showalter and the Orioles figure to use several players to man the position. Wilson Betemit is the favorite to receive a majority of the at-bats versus right-handed pitchers, while Russ Canzler and Danny Valencia are the main candidates against southpaws. Nolan Reimold, who Showalter wants to rest periodically throughout the season, could also see playing time at DH.
Betemit is a career .268/.334/.444 hitter, but he's maintained a batting line of .281/.349/.474 against right-handers. Canzler and Valencia both bat from the right side and offer favorable matchups versus left-handers, while Reimold has been consistent batting from both sides of the plate over his four seasons in the majors.