Infielder Jonathan Schoop has now been with the Orioles for a few days. He was called up after Monday’s Triple-A game at Norfolk, when the Tides’ season ended.
Schoop knows he is not likely to play much while he is here with the Orioles going with their regulars as they chase a playoff spot, but he is taking advantage of the experience however he can.
“This is amazing,” he said this morning. “Being around the team and watching the games and see if I can learn something.
“I watch B-Rob (Brian Roberts), how he works at second base. Watch J.J. (Hardy), Manny (Machado), Adam (Jones) and Chris (Davis). Try to learn from those guys. I’m getting my early work in, get some pregame swings in and be ready whenever they need me.”
Schoop had his season interrupted for over two months by a stress fracture in his lower back. Over 70 games for Norfolk, he batted .256 with 11 doubles, nine homers and 34 RBIs.
This is his first time on the O’s active roster and he is going to enjoy every moment he is here.
“This is a dream come true. When they told me I was coming here, I was very excited,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Orioles’ top draft pick, right-hander Hunter Harvey, will pitch a big game for the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds tonight. After last night’s 1-0 playoff loss to Tri-City, Aberdeen needs to win the next two games in this best-of-three series to advance.
Tonight’s game is at Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y., at 7 p.m. and Tri-City would also host a third game, which Aberdeen hopes is going to be necessary, on Sunday at 5 p.m.
The 19-year-old Harvey said he’s learned a few things about pitching in the New York-Penn League, where he is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three IronBirds starts.
“Keep the ball down is one of the main things and command,” he said. “Most of these guys are pretty good hitters, they don’t make too many mistakes, so you have to command the ball down with all your pitches.”
Harvey said he could sense how excited his teammates are to be in the playoffs and they are not, as they say, just happy to be there.
“Yeah, it’s the first time this team has ever made the playoffs and it’s a pretty big deal,” he said.
In eight starts between the Gulf Coast League Orioles and Aberdeen, Harvey is 0-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 25 1/3 innings.
Harvey has been held to a 75-pitch limit in his Aberdeen starts and that will be the case for him tonight as well.
There is some pressure on him with Aberdeen down 0-1 in the series.
“Yeah, I kind of like it. I feed off it. So that will help,” Harvey said.