HOUSTON -- Jimmy Paredes was smiling ear to ear and joking around with teammates Jose Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game. Paredes certainly looked at home in his surroundings, and the Astros hope it carries over to his on-field performance.
A day after the Astros announced they were calling up the infielder-turned-outfielder, Paredes was in the lineup in right field against the Giants, batting second against Matt Cain. The Astros believe Paredes could eventually wind up in center, but for now he's going to learn right.
"We're hoping right now at one of the corner spots he should be OK," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "The transition from infield to outfield is not as easy as some people think. Routes and angles are all different for him. We feel eventually he'll transition into a top center fielder."
Paredes, acquired from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman trade in 2010, has bounced around the infield during his time in Houston, before the club decided to move him to the outfield a month ago. He was playing second base, which is where All-Star Altuve is entrenched at the Major League level.
Since being moved to the outfield at Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this month, Paredes has played 19 games in center and two in left, but this will be his first exposure to right. DeFrancesco saw the uber-athletic Paredes get his feet wet in the outfield in Oklahoma City.
"There's going to be mistakes," he said. "Balls might fall in and you might say he took a bad drop step or a bad angle, but we're willing to take a chance with a young prospect like Jimmy," he said.
Paredes, who will play outfield in the Dominican this winter, was batting .318 with 13 home runs, 59 RBIs and 37 stolen bases in 124 games for the RedHawks this year, ranking first in the Pacific Coast League in steals, second in hits (161) and total bases (242) and third in runs scored (92). Last year, he batted .286 (48-for-168) with eight doubles, two homers and 18 RBIs in 46 games for the Astros.