The Orioles' search for a new hitting coach appears to be coming to a close, but manager Buck Showalter is expected to talk to one more candidate before a decision is made.
According to an industry source, the Orioles have scheduled an interview with former big leaguer Scott Coolbaugh, who was the minor league hitting coordinator for the Texas Rangers in 2014. There was some earlier confusion as to whether the Rangers would allow Coolbaugh to interview, but they did.
And now Coolbaugh is expected to meet with Showalter and Brady Anderson, the club's vice president of baseball operations, this week. It's likely he will be the last interview.
Coolbaugh, 48, was a third-round pick of the Rangers who spent parts of four seasons in the majors. He was a career .215 hitter in 432 big league at-bats, and a career .261 hitter with a .343 on-base percentage in 12 minor league seasons.
He has spent the past eight seasons in the Rangers organization, including serving as big league hitting coach from June 2011 until after the 2012 season. He remained with the Rangers as their Triple-A hitting coach in 2013 and the minor league coordinator in 2014.
He also coached and managed in the minors in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He was with that organization while Showalter managed the Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000.
While with the Orioles, Showalter has pulled several coaches from the Texas Rangers system, including current first base coach Wayne Kirby and former pitching coaches Mark Connor and Rick Adair.
Coolbaugh also has some Orioles ties. He was in the organization for one season in 1993, playing 118 games, mostly at third base, for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
The Orioles would like to have the process wrapped up and a new hitting coach hired by Jan. 1. Former hitting coach Jim Presley was re-assigned this offseason.
The Orioles had interest in hiring former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, but he pulled his name from consideration earlier this week.