Baltimore Orioles: Ramifications of Jonathan Schoop’s injury

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7: Jonathan Schoop
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7: Jonathan Schoop /

After straining his right oblique muscle, Jonathan Schoop will miss at least a month of playing time. How will this affect the Baltimore Orioles moving forward?

The Baltimore Orioles are no stranger to the injury bug. It seems to bite someone every year. For example, last season closer Zach Britton strained his forearm and missed a big chunk of the year. And, so far this season they’re dealing with Mark Trumbo‘s injury, hoping for no further setbacks in his rehab assignment.

It’s inevitable. Over the course of a 162-game season, there are bound to be injuries. Some are minor, day-to-day situations, some are mid-grade, and some are season-ending. In the case of Jonathan Schoop, it appears as if he falls in the mid-grade category for now.

In the top of the seventh inning Friday night in Boston, Jonathan Schoop strained his right oblique swinging at a 0-and-2 pitch from Red Sox reliever, Heath Hembree. The injury has been deemed as a grade one strain and will cause him to miss at least a month of action.

Schoop’s injury came at a time where the team needed to make room for starter Alex Cobb to join the roster. Therefore, the club quickly stashed him on the 10-day Disabled List. However, he won’t be ready to go in 10-days.

An oblique strain is a widespread injury to baseball players. The oblique muscle helps rotate the trunk of the body hence why it’s an injury that’s seen a lot, due to the constant turning while swinging a bat.

But, this is the first injury of it’s kind for Schoop, and he’s not taking it too well. Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke with MASN reporter Roch Kubatko about the effect it’s having on him.

"““I just talked to Jon. He’s really down. But we’re looking at it half full. I’m not going to have everybody start painting a negative picture there.”"

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Continuing that conversation with Kubatko after the game, Showalter said,

"“We’ve got some opportunities for other guys.”"

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The most likely candidate to replace Schoop at second base would be Tim Beckham, although he’s not listed on the Orioles depth chart as a second baseman. However, he has played in 77 games over four years there. In 236 chances, he’s made seven errors, which is more in both regards than rookie Engelb Vielma, current second baseman as listed by the depth chart.

Vielma joined the team on Wednesday, after being called up from the minors. He appeared as a defensive replacement in Friday night’s 7-to-3 loss.

While making his debut on Friday, Vielma does have minor league experience playing second base. In 43 games with the Twins minor league affiliates, he made just five errors in 211 chances at second over four seasons.

On the other hand, there’s Danny Valencia who started Saturday’s game at third while Beckham moved to second. Valencia doesn’t have much experience playing second, as he’s only appeared in nine games over his career. His last appearance at second came in 2015 while with the Blue Jays.

Jonathan Schoop’s absence shouldn’t be doom-and-gloom

BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 10: Jonathan Schoop
BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 10: Jonathan Schoop /

While taking an optimistic approach to his injury, it shouldn’t be seen as season-ending, by any means. His oblique strain is on the lowest end of the one-through-five grade range, and Jonathan Schoop will be playing baseball again. The plan is to have him back in the lineup by mid-May.

While getting off to a slow start to the season, he may have been starting to find his swing. The final game of the Blue Jays series and the first in Boston saw Jonathan Schoop collect four hits in eight at-bats, with one double and two RBI. Before that, stuck in a 3-for-31 slump with ten strikeouts, he had struggled at the plate.

He may have just been finding his swing, and then the injury occurs. But, that’s baseball. Injuries happen when you least expect them and certainly can’t afford them, but it’s part of the game. You take it in stride, make your rehab assignment and come back to the team, picking up where you left off.

UPDATE: MASN’s Roch Kubatko has confirmed that Jonathan Schoop is hoping to be out only 10 days with this grade one strain.

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The Baltimore Orioles and Jonathan Schoop should be grateful this injury is occurring in mid-April. Also, as mentioned, it’s not a season-ending injury, either. The discussions about the time Jonathan Schoop will miss would be a bit more concerning if this were mid-September and the team was in the hunt for a postseason spot.