Orioles manager Buck Showalter said second baseman Jonathan Schoop is 'very deserving' of being the club's lone All-Star.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter joined a chorus of those around the club who were thrilled at the selection of second baseman Jonathan Schoop as the team's All-Star.
"You get emotional about those things," Showalter said Monday morning at Miller Park. "It's like Manny [Machado]. You go through the ups and downs, see the one-step-back, two-steps-forward over the course of time in the minor leagues. But Jon is very deserving. Very deserving."
Schoop has been one of the offensive bright spots for the Orioles this season, moving into the heart of their lineup in late June thanks to a .293/.348/.538 batting line entering Monday's game to go along with his team-high 16 home runs and 51 RBIs.
Showalter said that in addition to the meeting with the coaching staff that got third base coach Bobby Dickerson choked up, the team also got together in the clubhouse for a pregame announcement Sunday. A group of players also watched the selection show on the team flight to Milwaukee, which happened to be when most of Schoop's family found out as well.
"Jon's such a family-oriented guy," Showalter said. "I told him he can't tell anybody. I expect him to tell his family, but he didn't. I was walking down for the media thing after the game and I saw his family out there, and I said something to his wife. 'Where are you all spending the All-Star break?' She said, 'I don't know, maybe here or Miami with his family. It hit me that he hadn't told her. He told his father afterwards but told his father not to tell anybody. So Bobby or somebody talked to his father, his father wouldn't tell that person. Like they were going to take it back if he told somebody."
First baseman Chris Davis (oblique) came through his first game of catch Sunday and was scheduled to take some swings Monday before the game, Showalter said.
Just by looking at Davis' face, which is now adorned with a mustache, Showalter said he could tell he felt positive about the progress, but major optimism would be held until after the swings.
"He hasn't hit yet, but so far, so good. He's getting ready to do some offensive things, swings. We'll have a better idea about that a little later on. He did his treatment already today. … You're always a little apprehensive. It's been a while, so first time swinging, is this going to hurt? Is that going to hurt? I'm sure he'll start it slow then go from there."
Showalter said this weekend that the team hoped to have Davis back when the second half begins July 13.
Out of the derby: The Orioles won't have a participant in the MLB Home Run Derby this year for the first time since 2013.
In the past four seasons, Davis, center fielder Adam Jones, Machado, and outfielder-designated hitter Mark Trumbo have represented the club on the eve of the All-Star Game.
But in each of those seasons, they were among the game's most prolific power hitters entering the All-Star break.
Schoop and Machado are tied for the team lead with 16 home runs this year, and as a club, the Orioles have 114 home runs. While six players have double-digit home runs on the roster, a majors-wide spike in power has prevented any Orioles from rising to the leaderboard.
No Orioles player has ever won the Home Run Derby.
Around the horn: Left-hander Keegan Akin was named the Orioles' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June, and outfielder Austin Hays won the corresponding award for position players. Akin has lowered his ERA at High-A Frederick to 3.51 by posting a 0.91 ERA over five starts in June. Hays was promoted from Frederick to Double-A Bowie and hit .372 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs in June between the two levels. Akin was also named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, while Bowie right-hander David Hess won that award for the Eastern League. … Showalter said he'd expect to know whether right-hander Chris Tillman can make his scheduled start Wednesday by the end of the day. Tillman remained in Baltimore for the potential birth of his first child.