Manager Buck Showalter isn’t waiting for rosters to expand Monday to give the Orioles the kind of position player depth that he thinks they will need for the stretch run.
The Orioles selected the contract of utility player Jimmy Paredes from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday, giving the team a five-man bench for the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards, and potentially, the weekend series with the Minnesota Twins.
Showalter said Paredes likely would have been promoted when rosters expand next week, but the ability to send right-hander Kevin Gausman to the minor leagues after Wednesday’s start without having him miss a turn in the rotation allowed Paredes to be brought up sooner.
Showalter said the presence of Paredes, who can play second base, third base, and the outfield, gives the club more flexibility late in games.
“It gives you a lot more ability to do those things,” Showalter said. “The three-man bench was tough. … It allows us to do some things and know that we’re covered if there’s an issue physically or if we want to do something else.”
Paredes, who is wearing No. 38, hit .258 with a .286 on-base percentage and three home runs in 32 games with the Tides after the Orioles acquired him from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations on July 24. Paredes hit .305 with eight home runs and 17 stolen bases for Triple-A Omaha before coming to the Orioles organization.
Paredes, who had two hits in 10 games with the Royals earlier this year, has played parts of four major league seasons — three with the Houston Astros — and is a career .233 hitter in the major leagues.
Paredes was briefly on the Orioles' roster in February, when the team claimed him off waivers from the Miami Marlins. However, he was waived two days later, and Kansas City claimed him.
Paredes, 25, played mostly second base and third base with Norfolk, though 55 of his 105 major league games came in the outfield.
Catcher Steve Clevenger, who played with Paredes in Norfolk, said the utility player “can play good defense, and he’s going to give you a little bit of power from his bat.”
“He looked pretty good at third [in Norfolk],” Clevenger said. “He’s going to make the routine plays, and hopefully give us a little range over there.”
Paredes is the second player added from Norfolk in two days. The Orioles recalled Clevenger on Wednesday after optioning left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League team with the intention of bringing him back up for his next start.
Gausman and Chen can be recalled without the requisite 10-day wait after optioning a player because the GCL season ended Thursday.
Showalter said he doesn’t anticipate any more roster moves before Sept. 1, unless the team needs to add a pitcher in the bullpen