Should the Orioles have kept him?
Probably not. Hester was one of several backup catcher candidates Dan Duquette accumulated in his attempt to find a backup catcher good enough to be a regular catcher. Hester had more power than the others but wasn’t a contact hitter, and his defensive reputation wasn’t as good as Luis Expositor or Taylor Teaguarden. After the Orioles released him in April, the Angels signed him to be the AAA backup. When they needed a backup catcher in Los Angeles, the AAA regular catcher happened to be temporarily hurt and the Angels recalled Hester. He got off to a very good start and received favorable publicity, then tapered off and got hurt himself. He’s still on the Angels’ 40-man roster.
Hester is a backup catcher, pure and simple. Having Hester as opposed to any other backup catcher won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to the team. I guess the best way to answer the question “Should the Orioles have kept John Hester” is “It doesn’t matter.”