Baltimore Orioles: Schoop played shortstop to help get win over Twins

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Jonathan Schoop
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Jonathan Schoop /

The Baltimore Orioles are lucky to have a player like Jonathan Schoop on the team.

Not only is he the only Baltimore Orioles player going to the All-Star Game; but he is also willing to switch positions to help the team.

The everyday second baseman stepped to the other side of his base for today’s game against the Twins.

It’s not that the Orioles are completely without a shortstop, but the position is so important that Schoop offered to go there.  And, by giving up his start at second base, Buck Showalter could get a look at Johnny Giavotella who was brought up from the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Jonathan Schoop
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Jonathan Schoop /

Showalter told Eduardo A. Encina with The Baltimore Sun  about moving Schoop to short:

"“In an ideal world, Manny would be at third and Jonathan would be at second, but J.J. is down and I want to get Gio some at-bats today and get a look of him there.”"

Prior to his start today with the Orioles, Giavotella has been putting up quality numbers in the Norfolk. His batting stats are .306/.368/.441 with a .809 OPS. He’s got 5 home runs, 4 triples, and 22 doubles. Add to that 34 walks and 41 strikeouts in his 379 plate appearances and it is easy to see why Showalter wanted to see what he could do in the Bigs.

Schoop had a day playing shortstop through the eighth inning before being moved back to his regular spot at second. Schoop went yard today with Manny Machado on base to get the go-ahead runs scored in the fourth inning. As the shortstop, Schoop was involved in six of the outs, with one double play turned.

As a sub-.500 team, making occasional changes can add a bit of a spark. (Not that Schoop needed it). But, the rest of the team could see what Schoop did at a position he hadn’t played since he was in the minor leagues in 2013. By working a little harder at a “new” position, the rest of the team can pick up some slack, too.

The Birds did win today, so the experiment may have paid off.

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While Schoop did score a pair of runs off of the Twinkies, other O’s did help the cause. Machado crossed home plate twice. Once off of the Schoop dinger and the other off of Mark Trumbo earning a base on a fielding error by Eduardo Escobar in the sixth. Trumbo also crossed home on his own home run in the eighth inning.

The pitching staff got in on the win. After a scary moment in the sixth, Darren O’Day managed to get out of a bases-loaded situation. He inherited a pair of runners with two outs, then hit Brian Dozier to load the bases. O’Day then struck out Escobar to end the inning and maintain the 4-1 Orioles’ lead.

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Hopefully, Schoop’s dedication to helping the team win and the actual win itself will spark a few more.