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Machado could be a longshot option at SS; Schoop isn't

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado runs to the dugout during a spring training exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota, Fla., March 14, 2015.
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado runs to the dugout during a spring training exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota, Fla., March 14, 2015.(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

With shortstop J.J. Hardy headed to the disabled list for Opening Day, the most obvious candidates to replace him are utility infielder Ryan Flaherty and new Oriole Everth Cabrera.

Cabrera, who is a natural shortstop, is probably the most likely everyday replacement while Hardy is out.

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Infielders Paul Janish and Jayson Nix are also both in camp – and Orioles manager Buck Showalter mentioned them as options – but they are likely to be reassigned to minor league camp soon.

So the obvious question is whether second baseman Jonathan Schoop and third baseman Manny Machado could be moved over on occasion.

Reading between the lines, Showalter is a no on Schoop and a doubtful on Machado.

"Jonathan, I wouldn't do it with unless it is late in the game, somewhere where were just trying to get through a game and it doesn't matter," he said. "Real, real cautious about taking guys into a spot that might put them in harm's way physically."

As for Machado, a natural shortstop who has played third exclusively in the majors?

"We are looking at all possibilities, all possible scenarios," Showalter said. "I don't have any doubt that we have a number of guys that could do it, including Manny, but you've got to be careful about robbing Peter to pay Paul."

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