With the off night tonight, Orioles fans are relegated to watching the Yankees look old against the Astros, as former O’s farmhand LJ Hoes went yard against CC Sabathia.
And with not a lot to talk about that has not already been discussed and over-discussed, the one thing I want to examine is who will Manny Machado replace on the 25-man roster.
The Orioles can’t feasibly go with less pitchers, and a five-man bench would be too many for this team.
Steve Clevenger is the back up catcher, which is necessary so he is in good shape.
Assuming that Nelson Cruz is the main DH and David Lough is the left fielder, that leaves five players.
Jonathan Schoop. Schoop is going to be starting wherever he plays. Either in Baltimore at second base or in Norfolk at second base. So I think he is the first choice to go down. But what if he is hitting the cover off the ball and playing a solid second base? Then the other options are:
Ryan Flaherty. Out of everyone, I don’t think he is going anywhere. I think his defensive ability and power potential will keep him playing regularly when Manny comes back.
Delmon Young. Young is a proven major league hitter over several years. He offers power potential and a great pinch hitter, but has little ability to play the field.
Steve Lombardozzi. I can’t really see the Orioles sending Lombardozzi down, but if Schoop would remain the starter, he will likely be the odd man out. He does have options remaining, so this is certainly possible.
Steve Pearce. Pearce can play first base, one of the one reserves who can. However, I think Flaherty could as well, and several other players in a pinch if necessary.
I think it is Schoop who goes down, but if he is going to be the everyday second baseman, I think Pearce is designated for assignment.