It was the first time the manager had seen his second baseman field ground balls since Schoop was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 18 with a sprained right knee. For nearly two months, Showalter received reports, and even some videos, on Schoop's workouts with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, but the manager was encouraged with his first real-time sighting.
"That was fun to watch," Showalter said. "He looks good. ... He was pretty excited to get out there."
During those two months, Schoop took at-bats in extended spring training games, but he did not do any fielding. Now that he is back in Baltimore, the second baseman is set to work out with the team from Monday to Thursday, and if all goes well, he will start a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie on Friday.
Schoop said his knee feels much stronger and he is moving around with no pain, including during lateral movements. He was excited to be back in Baltimore and hopes to be back on the active roster before the All-Star break. Schoop will be given 20 days for his rehab assignment, but Showalter isn't sure he will need that much time.
"If he is good these four days, and the first couple of days in Bowie are good, I don't think he will need that much.," Showalter said. "I'm not going to say what other clubs would have done, but we are not going to activate him until we are 100 percent sure."
Schoop played in just nine games this season before his injury. He was batting .259/.310/.630 with three home runs, seven RBIs and three runs scored.
"I want to play. I want to be here," Schoop said. "I want to help the team win. I'm going to go down there and work hard and try and come back here as quick as possible."
Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com.