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DePaula starts year in indy ball, now with O's

DePaula starts year in indy ball, now with O's play video for DePaula starts year in indy ball, now with O's

WASHINGTON -- Two weeks ago, the Orioles brought in Mark Hendrickson for a tryout hoping the reliever, who pitched for the O's from 2009-11, could give the team some organizational depth.

Now with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, Hendrickson hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2011, and he wouldn't be making a return as the result of that tryout. But the O's did stumble across someone who could help.

Two weeks later -- upon Hendrickson's suggestion to scout a different Revolution pitcher -- the Orioles added Julio DePaula to the active roster for Monday's series opener at Nationals Park

"Somebody needs to sign him," Hendrickson told Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "He's by far the best pitcher in this league."

DePaula's only previous stint in the Majors came in the form of 16 appearances for the Twins in 2007. In 20 innings, he posted an 8.55 ERA.

This stint could be even shorter. Baltimore optioned Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for an extra relief pitcher after Sunday's 7-6, 12-inning win against the Red Sox. On Tuesday, the O's will activate Bud Norris from the disabled list to start against the Nats and will have to make a corresponding move. And the 31-year-old DePaula could head back to the Minors.

"We felt like he's our best option for what could be a day or two," Showalter said.

DePaula has pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings during three appearances for Double-A Bowie this season. He struck out eight, walked three and allowed three hits.

Showalter didn't list any specific relief pitchers who wouldn't be available on Monday, but Darren O'Day was the only one who didn't pitch on Sunday. DePaula is not only a fresh arm, but also a pitcher who can give the Orioles multiple innings.

"He was our best option all things considered for what we needed," Showalter said. "He's had a meteoric rise."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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