Sadly, the Baltimore Orioles have an injured All-Star second baseman for the time being.
The Baltimore Orioles Jonathan Schoop has elbow bursitis and could miss an undetermined amount of time.
According to an article from ESPN, Schoop had his elbow drained and is out until further notice. He was scratched from Friday’s game, which was the spring training opening event. His current status is day-to-day.
Revealing a big roster problem
Schoop’s elbow issue revealed a big problem in Birdland. The team is without a utility infielder. Buck Showalter told the media about the lack of infield depth on the squad. He said:
"“I’ve said all along, the ‘what ifs. Our depth in the infield has been a challenge. It’s a scenario we haven’t really produced a lot down below."
Not only do the Orioles lack starting pitching, a top-notch right-fielder, and a lights-out veteran catcher, but they are also lacking a strong infield utility player. If Schoop has to miss an extended amount of time, the Orioles do not have many players who are good substitutes.
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Who could play second?
Currently, Luis Sardinas is filling in, but he is a non-roster invitee. He has only had two seasons without a negative WAR in four short seasons in the MLB. There is no way that he could be a quality replacement if Schoop misses time during the regular season.
There is a possibility that Engelb Vielma could take Schoop’s place if necessary. He has had issues getting out of Venezuela, so he has yet to practice with the team. Technically, Vielma is a shortstop, but the odds are good that he could play second base if needed.
Along with Sardinas, Garabez Rosa is also listed as a middle infielder. He is a non-roster invitee, like Sardinas. He played first base in Friday’s game and he played in the second game on Saturday. So far, Rosa has not gotten a hit. Erick Salcedo has also been playing second base, and he has better batting stats and is one for three.
The fact that Schoop played despite this issue in his elbow shows how much of a team player he really is. Elbow bursitis is incredibly uncomfortable and can decrease range of motion.