OAKLAND -- The Orioles have lost their consistency at the plate recently, and as a result have scored three runs or fewer six times in August entering Thursday. But, as the club gets through the notorious "dog days" of summer, second baseman Jonathan Schoop continues to be a staple of
OAKLAND -- The Orioles have lost their consistency at the plate recently, and as a result have scored three runs or fewer six times in August entering Thursday. But, as the club gets through the notorious "dog days" of summer, second baseman Jonathan Schoop continues to be a staple of the infield.
A year removed from a right knee injury cutting his 2015 season to just 86 games, Schoop entered Thursday's series finale against the A's owning the second-longest active games started streak in the Majors with 113.
Schoop said that becoming an everyday player was his "first goal" before the season, and he's successfully achieved it by posting a .283/.316/.478 slash line for the Orioles. That type of production has made it particularly easy for his manager to slot him in the lineup every day.
"It's tough to take him out; he's pretty good," said Buck Showalter.
But, Schoop's production, which includes 59 RBIs and 17 home runs, isn't the only thing that has allowed the Willemstad, Curacao, native to play in every inning of Baltimore's games this season.
"It takes a lot of discipline with his off-the-field [work]," said Showalter. "He's right on top of the knee. It's gotten stronger as the season has gone on, because he's been diligent about it."
Schoop also said that he's taken note of how stalwarts like Adam Jones and Manny Machado prepare each day in a long season.
"All of those guys, that's why they help me, they've been through it," said Schoop, adding that the mental part of playing every day in the Majors has been the toughest to which to get acclimated.
However, Showalter praised Schoop for his prep and rehabilitation of his knee this year.
"He's not one of those guys that takes it for granted," said Showalter. "He's really responded to the consistency of play."
• J.J. Hardy received a scheduled day off Thursday. Ryan Flaherty manned shortstop in his absence.
"He's got some nagging things off and on, but nothing that most people at that stage of their career don't have," Showalter said about Hardy.
• Showalter expects to have an update on Steve Pearce's (elbow soreness) progress Friday, but couldn't offer any details Thursday.
Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.