Orioles send Steve Lombardozzi to minors

Orioles send Steve Lombardozzi to minors
May 1, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Former Nationals utility player and perpetual fan favorite Steve Lombardozzi has already been on two teams since leaving the Nats in an offseason trade. Technically, he's about to join his third.

On Thursday the Orioles optioned the 25-year-old to Triple-A Norfolk to make room for Manny Machado who was activated off the disabled list. After starting at second base for 17 games in April for Baltimore, Lombardozzi is now back in the minors.

Check out this tweet from CSN Baltimore's Rich Dubroff:

Lombardozzi wasn't playing all that bad, at least if you look at his .292 batting average. That's well above his career .266 mark and more than you would generally expect from the switch-hitter.

But Jonathan Schoop had recently taken over, starting the last 10 games, five of them at second base. He's hitting just .241, but has a higher OPS (.673) than Lombardozzi (.635) because of his power numbers.

Obviously something had to give when Machado returned, but letting Lombardozzi go to the minors is a bit of a surprise. Since being traded to the Detroit Tigers in December along with other prospects for Doug Fister, Lombardozzi has already been traded to Baltimore and then optioned. All in less than half of a year.

[RELATED: Despite turmoil, April was a success for Nats]