Rough news here for the Orioles, as Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been diagnosed with a right PCL injury (a Grade 1 tear) and an MCL sprain.
Schoop was taken out on a slide from Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval last night, but Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun notes that the injury actually happened when he stepped on first base awkwardly later on in the game. No word on the timeline for his return, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter is hopeful that he’ll return at some point this season.
Schoop was off to a nice start so far this season, batting .259 (7-for-27) with three home runs and a .940 OPS over nine games. Ryan Flaherty and Everth Cabrera will both start for the Orioles now, but they’ll compete for at-bats at second base once shortstop J.J. Hardy is ready to come off the disabled list.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.