Orioles manager Buck Showalter hasn't been afraid to mix up his defensive alignment if it means putting a better offensive club on the field this year. That's why he had Steve Pearce play second base for the first time as a pro this season, and why catcher Matt Wieters started at first base Saturday.

Showalter did it again Monday — though it's not as shocking as Pearce's and Wieters' changes.


Jimmy Paredes, who has primarily been a designated hitter this season, was in the lineup starting in right field Monday, the first time he's been there in a big league game since 2013, when he played right field 39 times with the Houston Astros.

"Everybody kind of raised their eyebrows when Steve Pearce went to second and raised them when Matt went to first. That's where we are," Showalter said. "Jimmy is going to give you a good effort and he throws well enough to play anywhere. There's only one way to find out. This is our best option to get the bats we need in the lineup right now."

Paredes has started six games at second base in 2015 and finished three at third base. He also played one inning in left against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 19. Showalter had said previously he wanted Paredes, who has played 56 big league games (46 starts) in the outfield, to work there in the instructional league and during winter ball this offseason.

Showalter wanted Paredes' switch-hitting bat in the lineup Monday, but didn't want Wieters to play a position where he might need to throw after he caught Sunday and played first on Saturday. So Wieters was listed as the designated hitter, Chris Davis moved from right field back to first base and Paredes grabbed his outfielder's glove.

"Jimmy has been taking a lot of work for about a month in right field. Don't want to have Matt throw three days in a row," Showalter said. "We've got to figure out a way to generate some runs. Jimmy has been working hard at it. Just kind of fits what we need to do."

Tillman still possible for Friday

Chris Tillman, who had his scheduled start Monday skipped because of a sprained ankle, threw from flat ground with no real difficulty and will have a full workout Wednesday. If that goes well, he could make Friday's start against the Los Angeles Angels.

"It's the landing leg. When you post down that leg you've got to have a solid ankle there," Showalter said. "So we'll make sure he is right. I think we'll know a lot more after Wednesday, really probably Thursday. See how he feels after Wednesday."

Tillman, who has an 0.38 ERA in his three starts since the All-Star Break, turned the ankle while covering first base in the ninth inning of his scoreless gem against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Because the Orioles have Wednesday off and because Tyler Wilson was promoted to make Monday's start, Showalter said the Orioles don't really need to make a disabled-list call on Tillman until next Tuesday. At that point, though, they'll need another starter if Tillman isn't ready.

"He knows how important these games are and if he doesn't feel like he can give us a good chance to win, he won't pitch. He'll be honest with us," Showalter said. "We've got some things to play with. So we can buy some days if we need to."

Flaherty catches Chen's bullpen session

Here's another example of Showalter's being prepared in case a unique situation arises. Infielder Ryan Flaherty caught Wei-Yin Chen's bullpen session Monday, in case Flaherty is ever forced into action as the club's emergency catcher.

"He's kind of been doing it, but we wanted to really bear down on it and you just happen to see it," Showalter said. "I really want to get him to where he catches with a hitter in there — in case. I'm hoping he never catches."


The only positions Flaherty hasn't played in his big league career are center field and catcher. But he and Pearce, who is on the disabled list, have been considered the club's emergency catchers. Showalter said he has a few others he could use, but wouldn't reveal his candidates.

"The guy that wants to do it a little bit is [second baseman] Jonathan Schoop, but he's not going to," Showalter said.

Around the horn

Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez starts tonight for the Orioles and Chen will pitch the series finale at the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon. … Minor league right-hander Parker Bridwell, who has been shut down because of right elbow inflammation, will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews soon, Showalter said. The manager said the first diagnosis was that there was no structural damage to Bridwell's elbow. … Heading into Monday, Showalter was one win shy of matching Ned Hanlon for 31st on the all-time managerial list with 1,313 victories.

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