BALTIMORE -- Until a handful of hours before the Orioles' 3-1 loss to the Rays on Wednesday, the O's had been operating with a three-man bench for the start of an 11-game homestand at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Less than 24 hours later that number is up to five.
Baltimore recalled outfielder Jimmy Paredes from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday as the corresponding move for Kevin Gausman being optioned to the Gulf Coast League Orioles after Wednesday's game.
Paredes was batting .258 with three home runs and four stolen bases in 32 games with Norfolk since being acquired in July. He went 2-for-10 with a pair of steals in nine games with the Royals earlier this year.
"I was a little bit surprised," Paredes said. "I feel so excited."
The O's landed Paredes from Kansas City on July 24 in exchange for cash considerations. He had performed well with Triple-A Omaha, batting .305 with five home runs and 17 stolen bases in 65 games before being dealt to Baltimore.
Paredes was briefly an Oriole in February, when the O's claimed him off waivers from the Marlins on Feb. 15. Two days later, Baltimore replaced Paredes on the 40-man roster with starting pitcher Suk-min Yoon and Kansas City claimed the outfielder.
Paredes joins David Lough as a reserve outfielder for the O's and adds a switch hitter to a bench unit that features three lefties and one righty. Paredes is a career .233 hitter who can serve as a pinch-hitter and also regularly play second and third. If the Orioles need him to, Paredes can also fill in at first base and shortstop.
"It allows us to do some things and know that we're covered if there's an issue physically," manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles will have to make one more move Sunday to activate Wei-Yin Chen for his scheduled start, but whomever is optioned then can return when rosters expand to 40 players a day later.
Paredes was always likely to be called up on Sept. 1, Showalter said, and this let him get a few extra days to become acclimated to Baltimore while also providing the O's with a valuable piece. This may be the last chance the Orioles have to do something like this, too, so they took advantage.
"I think there's a chance we won't be able to do this next year," Showalter said. "They had a rule they changed last year on us because we took advantage of it and I think they'll change this one, too."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and 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.