When first base coach Wayne Kirby asked Jonathan Schoop to clear his locker Saturday, he hoped it would help the second baseman snap out of his struggles at the plate.
So Schoop carried his belongings out of Camden Yards and then turned around and brought everything back in, pretending like he had just gotten called up from the minor leagues.
“I was trying to refresh my mind,” Schoop said. “I was coming in like my season was just starting out. Tried to refresh, you never know. It’s working … I didn’t start a new season, but in my mind, it was a new start. Throw everything in the back away, and just, let’s go from now.”
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Schoop was 6-for-12 from that point through Tuesday, raising his batting average 14 points in three games to .227, and he has provided valuable production to the bottom of the Orioles’ lineup.
Schoop admitted that he has struggled to get accustomed to major league pitching, but he hopes that his recent success, sparked by Kirby’s strange tactic, will be a harbinger of continued improvement.
“Baseball is more mentally than physically,” Schoop said. “I was scuffling a bit.”
Around the horn
Right-hander Kevin Gausman threw two innings Wednesday in an abbreviated start at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, allowing one unearned run and one hit with one strikeout and a walk. Gausman, who faced just eight batters and threw 29 pitches (20 strikes), is a candidate to start for the Orioles on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on three days' rest. … Funeral services for Frank Cashen, the former Orioles executive who died Monday at age 88, will be private. His family asks that contributions in Cashen’s name be made to either the Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood, Easton, Md., 21601, or the Breast Cancer Research Foundatiuon, 60 E. 56th St., 8th floor, New York, N.Y., 10022. Cashen, a Baltimore native and the Orioles’ vice president when they won their first two World Series (1966 and 1970), died in Easton of complications from congestive heart failure. … Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Suk-min Yoon received an injection Wednesday for the right shoulder impingement that landed the South Korean pitcher on the minor league DL. Yoon, who received the injection following a visit with team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs, will be re-evaluated in the next few days. … Left-hander Brian Gonzalez, who was the Orioles’ top pick in the first-year player draft last month, made his professional debut Wednesday afternoon in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The club’s third-round pick tossed a perfect first inning, striking out one batter. … Right-hander Patrick Connaughton, the Orioles’ fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame, made his professional debut Tuesday with a perfect inning for short-season Single-A Aberdeen. … Norfolk infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. has been selected for the International League All-Star team.
Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.