BALTIMORE -- Looking to bolster their outfield depth with Nick Markakis injured and out for the rest of the regular season, the Orioles selected the contracts of Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, designating right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg and infielder Ryan Adams for assignment to clear room on Baltimore's 40-man roster.
"I don't think anybody this time of year is going to think they are going to replace a Nick Markakis," manager Buck Showalter said of the team's right fielder, who underwent left thumb surgery on Tuesday morning in Sarasota, Fla. "What was out there, as far as it was presented to the organization, [externally] wasn't better than Endy and L.J. that were already here. So that was it in a nutshell."
Chavez appeared in 47 games for the Orioles this season, batting .190 with two home runs and eight RBIs. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 4 and played in 15 games for Norfolk after he was outrighted. Hoes, who is the Orioles' No. 13th-ranked prospect on MLB.com's list, was called up for the first time in his career. As the club's third-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, he hit .300 with three homers, 38 RBIs and 54 runs in 82 games in Triple-A after beginning the season with Double-A Bowie.
"It's a great feeling," said Hoes, who was drafted out of St. John's College High School in Washington, D.C., and was hanging out at home when he got the phone call around noon on Tuesday. "I dreamed of this day happening at some point, so I'm just glad to be up here now and help out any way I can."
The loss of Gregg, who was signed in the winter of 2010 to a two-year, $10 million contract with a $6 million team option to be the closer, was a product of a fully stocked bullpen -- particularly given September's expanded rosters -- and a dwindling role for the veteran.
"We just feel like we've got some options down there that can potentially offset the loss of Kevin," Showalter said. "He's made a contribution on and off the field to our guys and our team. That will be missed."
One of the few Orioles with postseason experience, the 34-year-old Gregg served as a mentor to many of the younger pitchers, and Showalter hailed his professionalism again on Tuesday. After converting 22 out of 29 save opportunities in 2011, Gregg lost the role in the final month of last season, and Showalter officially named Jim Johnson the team's closer this spring.
Gregg never had a defined role after that, used as a long man on occasion -- being stretched to multiple innings -- and going long stretches without pitching at all. He went 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA in 40 games this season, allowing 23 earned runs over 43 2/3 innings on 49 hits and 24 walks.
Showalter spoke with Gregg at length after Sunday's game about a range of topics, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette talked with the reliever and his agent on Tuesday.
"It's been a tough go for Kevin," Showalter said. "He's been very professional about it, well-respected. Because of the consistency he needs to pitch in order to pitch as well as he's capable of, it probably wasn't going to be there for him the rest of the year. I don't want to say we're trying to do him a favor, but we'll see what the next five or six days bring -- if he can get someplace where he can get the ball on a consistent basis and present himself as a good option he will be next season for some team.
"He's pitched some good innings for us this year. His ERA was under 4.00 for most of the year. And I think it has as much to do with his inactivity. ... Kevin's had a long string of contributions to a Major League club and will again. Just trying to be fair to him. Plus, we needed the roster spot. Hopefully, it will work out for him. I think it will. I think a change of scenery, getting the ball every day or every other day, is going to really help him."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.