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A day on which most discussion centered around the promotion of top pitching prospect Kevin Gausman, the Orioles received some discouraging news about their top positional prospect as infielder Jonathan Schoop will be sidelined indefinitely with a back injury.
Sidelined since May 12, Schoop is dealing with a stress fracture in his lower back, according to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. The 21-year-old could be sidelined six to eight weeks and will seek a second opinion.
Promoted to Triple-A Norfolk this season, the organization’s 2011 minor league player of the year was hitting .268 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 34 games despite a slow start with the Tides. Schoop has the ability to play three infield positions and was splitting time between shortstop and second base.
With the Orioles struggling to receive any offensive production from the second base spot this season, many speculated that Schoop could have received a summer promotion similar to the way Manny Machado provided a boost to the club in last August last season. Instead, the organization will simply focus on getting the Curacao native healthy before he returns to the Norfolk lineup.
Since optioning the struggling Ryan Flaherty to Norfolk last weekend, the Orioles have used a platoon of Yamaico Navarro and Alexi Casilla at second base. Through the first 45 games of the season, Baltimore second basemen were hitting .200 with two homers, seven RBIs, and a .561 on-base plus slugging percentage.