Buck Showalter’s Hot Corner Dilemma
The Baltimore Orioles have been hovering around .500 in the early going of the 2014 season despite a shortage of power hitting and quality starts. The pitching figures to be a season-long concern but the home runs will come. The biggest problem facing manager Buck Showalter, at least over the next few weeks, is the club’s quagmire at third base.
Manny Machado, Baltimore’s All-Star third baseman and shortstop of the future, is about to begin a rehab assignment and could return to the lineup in early May. In Machado’s absence Showalter has been playing Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore’s second baseman of the future, at third. Schoop surprised club officials and fans with an impressive offensive showing in Spring Training and won the second base job. Since then the 22-year-old has been shifted to third base due to Ryan Flaherty’s continued offensive ineptitude and J.J. Hardy’s injury-plagued April.