ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is waiting to post his lineup until he speaks with a few players during batting practice, but he confirmed to reporters in his office that Manny Machado will bat second and Steve Pearce will serve as the designated hitter.
Showalter also batted Machado second and started Pearce on Thursday against Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price, who is taking the mound on Tuesday.
The Orioles have added a seventh coach to their staff, Einar Diaz, who will serve in a variety of roles and spend most games in the dugout or in the video room. A former major league catcher, he also could venture out to the bullpen on occasion.
Beginning this season, Major League Baseball rules permit a seventh coach to be in the dugout or bullpen during games. Diaz will serve primarily as an assistant to hitting coach Jim Presley, but he also will throw batting practice and offer some catching instruction.
“He’ll do a little bit of everything,” Showalter said.
Diaz, 40, is in his sixth year as a coach in the Orioles organization after assignments with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League team, short-season Single-A Aberdeen, Single-A Delmarva and Double-A Bowie. He also managed rookie-level Bluefield in 2009 and 2010.
Diaz played in 673 games over 11 major league seasons for the Indians, Dodgers, Rangers, Expos and Cardinals, and batted .254 (523-2061) with 21 home runs and 202 RBIs. He was a member of three Indians teams that reached the postseason (1998-99 and 2001) and one with St. Louis (2005).
Butch Davis will replace Diaz as a field coach at Bowie this season.
Update: Here’s more from Showalter on Diaz joining the staff as a seventh coach:
“He’s going to be like an assistant to the coaching staff. There are somewhere between 17 and 20 teams taking advantage of the new rule.
“He throws a real, real good batting practice, which is very valuable. We lost a good arm in DeMarlo (Hale). And you’re talking about 162 games. I’ve had Einar as a player. Einar is just a solid human being. He’ll fit in real well in the clubhouse. Seamless. I won’t say he was trying out, but I was looking at him potentially being that guy and it really seemed like a good fit for both of us. Einar makes us better.
“We’ve been talking about it for two or three weeks. We just wanted to make sure we had everything in order, especially with him and his family. It’s a little different traveling with us around the country as opposed to being at Bowie.”
Showalter said he had a couple of lineups written for opening day. Machado definitely will bat second, but he could move down against right-handed starters.
“I like the presentation he gives us initially,” Showalter said. “I think Manny, sometime in his career, you could hit him in a lot of different spots. He’s a guy who’s running better. They did a lot of work with his form and some stuff with his running. When I first saw him as a young kid, he wasn’t running near as good as he’s running now. One, he’s trying to run, if that makes any sense. If you look at his technique early on, he was kind of a 10-to-2 guy. Brady (Anderson) has done some really good work with him. He’s picked up some foot speed.
“It depends on who you talk to on what their perception of a two-hole hitter is. Is it somebody who can hit and run, somebody who can take pitches? He’s going to get some more at-bats there tomorrow, potentially. But you could shake them up in a basket against Price.
“Our team, as you saw last year, egos didn’t play into it and it was kind of what presented our best front that day. And it can fluctuate according to how somebody’s doing, how somebody’s going. And I think they trust it. There’s nothing personal about it. This is just putting our best foot forward on that day.”
In making out Tuesday’s lineup, Showalter considered lifetime stats against Price and at Tropicana Field.
“Sometimes, you just take it like a man and you say, ‘He’s due,’ ” Showalter said. “You take in a lot of variables. I used to think you had to play a certain lineup on opening day, but for instance, we don’t see another left-handed starter for six, seven, eight days, depending on what they do, so do you want Steve Pearce to sit around on his (butt) for eight days? No. Steve will be in there tomorrow.”