DALLAS - It’s finally official. The Orioles have hired DeMarlo Hale as their third base coach and Bill Castro as their bullpen coach.
“The additions of DeMarlo Hale and Bill Castro add winning experience and diversity to our coaching staff,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a statement.
The Red Sox let Hale out of his contract last night with one year remaining so he could join manager Buck Showalter’s staff. He had the option of remaining with Boston under new manager Bobby Valentine.
“I’ve known DeMarlo. He was my first base coach in Texas and wanted to continue his career in the upward spiral that he’s had,” Showalter said.
“He’s a really solid baseball guy and he’s capable of doing a lot of different things. He and Wayne (Kirby) will be a great combination, an experienced third base coach in the American League. And he’s been a bench coach there (in Boston). He has a really good knowledge of the American League and the American League East. It’s something we were looking for.”
Hale has spent 10 seasons as a major league coach, most recently serving as bench coach (2010-11) and third base coach (2006-09) for the Red Sox. He was first base and outfield coach on Showalter’s staff with the Rangers from 2002-05.
The Orioles began last season with John Russell as their third base coach before he switched roles with bench coach Willie Randolph.
“John had some of his knee and hip issues last year,” Showalter said. “I think Kirby could have done it, but I don’t want to be thinking about it. I want to have a little more proven commodity in DeMarlo, and having some familiarity with him, too, is exciting. This is a good, solid baseball man.”
Hale also will work with the infielders, as Randolph did in 2011.
“He’s done it before in the major leagues with Boston. I believe his first year or two, he was in charge of infielders,” Showalter said.
“I think that DeMarlo’s going to manage in the big leagues one day very quickly. He’s capable of doing just about anything on the field at a very high level. I’m really excited to bring him aboard. He makes us better.”
Castro, a former pitcher, bullpen coach and pitching coach with the Brewers, gives Showalter a Spanish-speaking coach on his staff.
“It happens that he’s a really good bullpen coach,” Showalter said. “You’d have to look real hard to find a more experienced bullpen coach than him. He’s done this for a number of years. Very well respected in the bullpen. Rick (Adair) and him have talked a lot. I think that’s going to be a real good combination there.
“He’s a really good bullpen coach who also happens to speak Spanish. That isn’t why he was hired. It was an added bonus that we need on our staff.”
Castro pitched for the Brewers in 1980 while Duquette worked as a scouting assistant.
“I know how people rave about him everywhere he goes and he’s a nice fit for us in what a bullpen coach needs to bring in a lot of different ways,” Showalter said. “He also brings some knowledge of the National League.”
Castro spent 37 seasons in the Brewers’ organization, the last two as pitching advisor for Latin America. He spent 18 seasons on the Brewers’ major league coaching staff, including the first part of the 2009 season as pitching coach. He previously served as bullpen coach from 1992-2008 and was the pitching coach for the Dominican Republic during the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Prior to joining the major league staff, Castro was the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator from 1988-91 and a member of the Brewers’ scouting staff from 1985-87.
Showalter preferred that his new bullpen coach have a pitching background, which also worked in Castro’s favor.
“There are some catchers and other people who are capable of doing it, but it was something that was a challenge for us last year when Mark (Connor) had to resign, so I’m kind of looking forward to that not being a challenge for us next year with some of the moving parts at third base and in the bullpen,” Showalter said.
The Orioles will probably add a seventh coach who will be in uniform during batting practice at home games, and former shortstop Mike Bordick is considered a favorite to land that job.