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Jonathan Schoop to make Orioles roster

Mar 28, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

Jonathan Schoop Getty Images

A couple hours after I posted my Orioles preview in which I mused that the Orioles may keep infielder Jonathan Schoop down on the farm in favor of other options at second base, this comes across the wire:

Which is probably a good thing, because it keeps Lombardozzi from becoming an everyday player, which is not something he’s suited to, and gives Schoop a chance to ease into the majors instead of having the world on his shoulders. The real question will be who the odd man out is once Manny Machado comes back and there are three players for second base.

Schoop is 22 and he has torn up the peapatch this spring, for whatever that’s worth. In five minor league seasons he’s hit a combined .268/.335/.407 while advancing quickly through every minor league level.

  1. dwrek5 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Weeks still on the team?

    • jerze2387 - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Maybe as a utility guy. But he’s too week at the plate to be a player they rely on.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      He was always expected to start the year in the minors, even before they got Lombardozzi.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Can’t say I completely agree with this move and here is why:

    While Machado is out, Flaherty is expected to step in at third base, with Lombardozzi in at second and Weeks as a backup.

    Machado is not expected to be out for very long.

    Upon his return, Flaherty was expected to take over at second with Lombardozzi as backup and Weeks dropped down to the minors. This has the advantage of giving Shoop regular at bats at the AAA level.

    With Shoop making the roster, one of three things will happen. He will either start for now and then be moved to the bench upon Machado’s return, he will start for now, and keep the job upon Machado’s return moving Flaherty to the bench, or he will be on the bench for now and get moved to AAA upon Machado’s return.

    I’m very high on Flaherty, I think he can be a very good second baseman, one who has turned the corner last season wtih an above average glove and an average bat. I don’t see the point in starting the clock on Shoop so soon, when I don’t believe the drop off between him and the next guy is that great, especially for the limited amount of time Machado is expected to be out. (A few weeks maybe?)

    It’s a bold move, and Shoop certainly has potential to be great (He won the Organization’s minor league player of the year award over Machado), I just don’t see why the Orioles are in such a rush. They have options. Maybe I’m just really high on Flaherty, maybe I’d like to see what Lombardozzi can do with a month, maybe Shoop is better than I’m expecting. I just don’t see it.

    • jerze2387 - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Well, after signing Cruz and ubaldo, it appears they’re going for it. And while flaherty is decent, he’s more suited for a utility role anyway. His versatility would be more valuable as a backup 2b/3b and maybe even ss than an everyday 2b.

      If schoop can lock down 2b, they will have made 2 positions stronger with an everyday 2b and the utility inf spot (flaherty over weeks). Gives them a better chance to contend.

      Plus, schoop earned a shot. It’s basically the organization doing what the Astros didn’t with springer, which a lot of people disagreed with.

    • paperlions - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      If a team wants to compete in the AL east (not that I think the Orioles stack up particularly well), Lombardozzi had no business starting anywhere. He is not good at baseball. In his two years with a decent number of PAs, he’s put up wRC+ of 83 and 67, had negative value on the bases each year, been roughly average defensively at 2B and been a disaster defensively at SS or in the OF.

      I honestly don’t know if Schoop is ready or not, some scouts like his offensive potential, others, not so much….but if he’s ready to contribute, Lombardozzi and Flaherty are not good enough reasons to block him…those 2 are essentially replacement level guys.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        I don’t know much about Lombardozzi, so I can’t really claim to know here. But can’t he start even for a week or two? Or is he that bad that bringing Shoop up so early is the right move? My worry is they are forsaking an entire year of eligibility to get the team by for what may only be one to two weeks. And then what?

      • paperlions - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Yeah, that is the only “odd” part of the move. FWIW (not much, really), Lombardozzi has negative career WAR…but over a couple of weeks, that’s meaningless. If Schoop ever gets send down, that time doesn’t count for his service time though, does it? If he is up for good, yeah, they only get the 6 years, but if he is sent down at some point…..couldn’t they still get the 6+ years of control?

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        You know I’m not sure. Service time is a mess of a system, one I’ve been saying for YEARS they need to fix. Hopefully the Astro’s player wins his grievance and that forces MLB to take a better look at the way it works. This part year crap is BS. (Minus September Callups of course).

        Of course, the one scenario where I’m completely wrong is if Schoop comes up and absolutely lights it up, wins rookie of the year, and is one of the best second baseman of the year. In that possibility, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong.

    • inserthandle - Mar 28, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Where’s the evidence that Flaherty has turned a corner and can provide average offense? He’s hit .221/.279/.378 in 438 PAs over two seasons. That’s not a huge sample, but the O’s are built for a playoff run and Schoop is widely regarded as the more talented player.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        It’s one of those things you have to watch every game to see, but he hit .297 in June of last year over 74 at bats, after his return to the majors. Unfortunately Brian Roberts returned after that and he only was given 76 at bats for the remaining 4 months of the season. But when given the rare opportunity, he stepped up. He’s backing that up with a line of .310/.362/.571 this spring (For those that care about spring).

        Look, I’m in no way advocating Flash for an all-star position, or even saying he should be the team’s starting second baseman for the entire season. But I do believe he is on the upswing, and I do believe that the difference between him and Schoop NOW is not that great. I personally think Schoop should be starting once his arbitration clock resets in two months or whenever it is.

  3. normanator64 - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    I think they may be giving him time so they can see if they can strike lightening in a bottle ala Machado. There has been no further discussions regarding an extension for Hardy and they maybe wanting to see what they have as cheaper and younger alternatives. If the Orioles are out of it come the All Star break prepare for some big trades by the orioles. Keeping Schoop in the Majors gives home the exposure we need to make a decision who goes and who stays. The Os are stocked with serviceable players right now and are a player or two away from contending. I like what I see.

  4. jpalughi823 - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    Good, get his feet wet. If he comes out strong, he stays. If not, go back to the minors for more ABs. I fully expect him, Gausman & Bundy to all be up here by August hopefully making an impact

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