Paredes likely to be called up in September

Paredes likely to be called up in September

HOUSTON -- Those clamoring to see Jimmy Paredes back in an Astros uniform might not have to wait much longer.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Friday that Paredes, who's playing center field for the RedHawks, will join the big league club when rosters are expanded in September, assuming all goes well the next few weeks. Paredes entered Friday hitting .322 with 12 homers, 53 RBIs and 31 steals.

Luhnow said the Astros chose to call up Fernando Martinez instead of Paredes on Friday partly because Paredes hasn't had much time in the outfield. He has played six games in the outfield, mostly in center, after playing most of the season at second base.

"We wanted Paredes to get his reps out in center field," said Luhnow, who pointed out the Triple-A center field job became open when Brandon Barnes was promoted to Houston earlier this week. "He's going to play there the rest of the month. Assuming that goes well, we're going to see him here in September. It's hard to learn a new position in the big leagues. I've seen that happen before, and it can be a big challenge. We don't want to put that on him right now."

Paredes, a switch-hitter acquired from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman trade two years ago, had played second, third and shortstop before the Astros opted to move him to the outfield recently. He started at third base for the Astros the final two months of last year.

"He's very capable of playing center field and he has all the tools in the world," Luhnow said. "Ultimately, that may end up being his best position given his speed, his ability to throw and that stuff. Clearly, he can hit and he's proven that. I'm excited. We'll see him at some point."

Another one of the Astros' top prospects, second baseman Delino DeShields Jr., was promoted to high Class A Lancaster on Friday after hitting .298 with 10 homers, 52 RBIs, a .401 on-base percentage and 83 stolen bases at Class A Lexington.

"He's absolutely earned it," Luhnow said. "You could argue his promotion was overdue at this point, and I'm excited to see what he can do at the next level. He's definitely put himself on the map as a player we want to see here in the next couple of years. I can't wait."