Fantasy Impact: Jonathan Schoop’s Return
The Baltimore Orioles have had some ups and downs this season, but as we near the All-Star break the O’s are on the down. The Orioles are holding onto second place in the AL East with a record of 43-42 even though they’ve now lost three in a row. Despite the modest losing streak, the Orioles were recently able to welcome back second baseman Jonathan Schoop from the disabled list.
Schoop started out the season very hot hitting .259/.310/.630 over the first nine games, with three home runs, and seven RBI. He was placed on the DL with a partial PCL tear and a sprained MCL, but did not undergo surgery and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Schoop was activated from the disabled list and brought back into the line up on July 4th, sending Ryan Flaherty down to Triple-A Norfolk.
In 2014 Schoop struggled at the plate, in 455 at-bats he had 16 home run and 45 RBI for the Orioles. While this was not what was necessarily expected for one of their highly-touted prospects, Schoop showed flashes of the player he could be through the season. Schoop looked like he was starting to figure it out against the big league pitchers this season, prior to the injury. He homered in his first game back after being activated, and got two RBI to help the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 9-1. Schoop is currently hitting .225 with four home runs, nine RBI, one stolen base, and an OPS of .829.
Getting Schoop back into the line up was big boost for the Orioles who needed someone to come in and help them snap their losing streak. In nine rehab games in the minors he hit .265 with two doubles, four home runs and seven RBI. When asked about the return, manager Buck Showalter said, “he’s done everything possible, he’s probably in the best shape of his life.” The Orioles have high hopes for Schoop and help them return to the playoffs this season. Since coming back Schoop has struggled a little bit at the plate with no hits in his last two games, but this could also just be him readjusting to major league pitching and getting comfortable in the box again. Once he gets going Schoop could be a force to be reckoned with at the plate, and could help teams that are struggling and looking for decent players at 2B as the second half begins. He brings significant power potential to a position that general lacks this attribute.
The Orioles have struggled with taking advantage of mistakes and opportunities that have been presented to them. In the recent losing streak, the Orioles have not accrued any benefit from the few chances presented to them to score runs. With Schoop back in the line up he could really help them get over the hump and score more runs in close games, helping to win these games and move up in the standings. With the AL East as tight as it is right now every win counts, and the Orioles need to start scoring more.