Orioles infielder Jimmy Paredes 'so excited' to land in Baltimore after up-and-down year

The Baltimore Sun

Jimmy Paredes has been taken off major league rosters four times since last November, and he spent almost 100 games in the minors this year while playing with two different clubs. On Friday, he was batting fifth and playing third base for the American League East champions.

“I'm so excited because they gave me the opportunity to be here with the team and we got to the playoffs,” said Paredes, who entered Friday hitting .400 (14-for-35) with the Orioles. “It was so exciting because a couple months ago, I was in the minor leagues, Triple-A, and a lot of things happened to me before.”

Originally signed by the New York Yankees out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, Paredes and reliever Mark Melancon were traded to the Houston Astros in a 2010 deadline deal for Lance Berkman. Paredes spent three seasons in the Astros organization before his job carousel began spinning. The Miami Marlins claimed him off waivers from the Astros in November. In February, the Orioles claimed him from the Marlins, and the Kansas City Royals claimed him from the Orioles. Paredes played briefly for the Royals before being designated for assignment in July; the Orioles purchased him from the Royals on July 24 and sent him to Triple-A Norfolk.

“I was designated and I was so sad in that situation that happened. And then the Orioles gave me an opportunity to be here, and I am right now,” Paredes, 25, said. “So I say thank God for everything, for the new opportunity I have right now.”

With Chris Davis suspended through at least the American League Division Series, Paredes has a chance to make the Orioles' postseason roster. Manager Buck Showalter acknowledged Friday that Paredes' and infielder Kelly Johnson's chances of playing in the playoffs increased with Davis' suspension. Paredes is trying not to think about that yet.

“I don't know. It's a bad situation right there because Chris Davis is a good player for this team. We lose a veteran player,” Paredes said. “But I'm right here right now, so I'm taking my chance and trying to do my best to help the team as best I can. That's tough [to lose] a good player like that, but we're here to cover [his absence], and I try to do the best I can right here to get the team to make the World Series.”

Preparing for the playoffs

Showalter said he has an idea of what the club's playoff roster might look like and who might pitch in certain games, but until the Orioles know their opponent, there's still a lot of guesswork involved. He said the club has eight scouts doing advance work on potential opponents, and advance scouting coordinator Ben Werthan already has supplied him with reports.

“I've looked at the matchups. It's still pretty up in the air, who we're playing,” Showalter said. “We have an idea who pitches well [against] Detroit and Kansas City. If it becomes somebody else, we have those. Ben has those. We take one out every time somebody is eliminated.”

Showalter could go with three or four starting pitchers in the first series, creating some friendly competition in the rotation.

“It's sincere that they're pulling for each other, even though they may be their competition,” he said. “Quite frankly, some of these guys, it's kind of good. They know what's going on with the roster down the road. They've got a little semi-audition in the back of their mind.”

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.

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