The former Pirates prospect, who spent a short stint in Baltimore in 2012, earned the final spot on the 25-man roster heading into the 2013 opener. The nod to Pearce was effectively a nod to what made the Orioles successful in 2012 -- giving career journeymen and retreads a chance, and allowing that opportunity to become a source of motivation. It's like the Orioles saved that final spot for a Buck Showalter-type player -- the kind he called upon repeatedly in 2012 to fill a hole, whether it be for a stretch, a game or a single at-bat. It worked then, why fix it? Pearce, who turns 30 on April 19, had more versatility than Conor Jackson, the former Diamondbacks talent who will begin the year a phone call away from Baltimore while playing at Class AAA Norfolk. Pearce can play first base and the corner outfield spots. He can even play
He'll log most of his at-bats as a complementary designated hitter and part-time relief against left- handed pitching in place of first baseman Chris Davis. He may also see some time playing the outfield, allowing right fielder Nick Markakis to ease back into action after an injury-plagued year. Pearce may also be held to serve as the club's top right-handed pinch-hitter. He batted .254 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 28 games with the Orioles in 2012. He also appeared in 21 games with the Astros and 12 with the Yankees. He returned to the Orioles having been selected off waivers from the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He made the best of his spring opportunity, batting .340 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 26 games, slugging his way to Baltimore. He's a blue-collar type of player -- and that works well in Baltimore, both with the fan base and with Showalter.
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