What should the Orioles do with Schoop?

Jonathan Schoop hit a home run last night for Triple-A Norfolk.

Schoop had three hits on Monday, including a home run.

This Schoop kid is pretty good. Just ask any team that's trying to work a trade with the Orioles.

Up to this point, the Orioles have been reluctant to part with him, whether it's for Joe Blanton or Bud Norris or another available arm or bat. His name always comes up in discussions. The Orioles always say, "No."

ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted last night that the Orioles "hope White Sox change their mind on a Peavy - Schoop type package." No one is untouchable, but that would have been quite a change in the club's thinking, since the Orioles view Schoop as their potential second baseman in 2014.

I'm still convinced that Jake Peavy wasn't a fit for the Oriole because of salary and his medical records. And now he's headed to Boston as part of a three-team trade with the Tigers.

The Red Sox reportedly will assume the close to $20 million remaining on Peavy's contract for the rest of this year and next season. The Orioles weren't going to do it.

As for Schoop, 21, the plan this season was for the Orioles to evaluate him at second base at Norfolk. They envision an infield next season of Manny Machado at third, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, Schoop at second and Chris Davis at first. Brian Roberts' contract expires. Ryan Flaherty could be a super utility type.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, Schoop suffered a stress fracture in his lower back. Pretty hard to evaluate a guy while he's on the disabled list and rehabbing in Sarasota.

If nothing else, Schoop figured to be included among the September call-ups. Now we can debate whether he should be the right-handed bat that the Orioles are seeking.

He doesn't play the outfield, which is a strike against him, so to speak. The Orioles already have three second basemen. And teams in pennant races probably shouldn't be in evaluation mode, though that's sort of what they're doing with Henry Urrutia.

So should the Orioles promote Schoop, who's batting .268 with six doubles, five homers and 21 RBIs in 38 games, and make him their primary designated hitter against left-handed pitching, with occasional starts at second base? He could be recalled - that's the term for a player on the 40-man roster - when Roberts goes on paternity leave.

Should they leave him at Norfolk, where he can play second base every day, and wait until September?

Should they be more open to packaging him in a trade? Gotta give up something to get something.

The Astros also want pitching prospects for Norris, so Schoop isn't the only reason why the right-hander remains on the visiting side at Camden Yards. But talks continue. The Orioles are making a late push for him.

It will be interesting if Norris stays with the Astros and takes the mound tonight against one of the teams that wanted him. A team that values Schoop as much as everyone else.

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