I think maybe Flash's defensive versatility has hurt his chances of ever playing every day. Now, some will say he's had plenty of chances and has proved that he can't keep an everyday job. I don't think that's right. I think 2 things have hurt him: the Rule V thing which prevented him from ever having a AAA year, and the fact that he has had extended slumps. I also think that, when given the chance to wear out a slump, he's shown the kind of bat that fits will with his D... it's just that every time he got settled in, something happened to interrupt his ongoing goodness. While I can understand how some folks might look at it differently than that, that's how it seems to me.
What I wanted Buck to do this year was to have Schoop have the thing that Flash never had: a season to learn how to hit AAA pitching. And, while that was going on, to have Flash settle in at 2B, giving him his first time ever at knowing he had a job playing everyday. Then, after a year of both of those things, 2015 would be when push comes to shove about which job each of the 2 of them wind up with.
Obviously, Buck had a different plan. I think he expected Schoop to learn how to hit by the end of the year... which he didn't. He had a similar plan when he had Manny batting 2nd when there was no good reason to do that except to give Manny a chance to figure it out. He gave Schoop a similar chance this year, and it didn't work. Now, obviously Buck knows way more about it than I do, but I think his strategy this year cost the O's 2 things: finding out about Flash handling an everyday job, and letting Schoop have the AAA year that Flash never had. And I think the main thing that caused that to happen was that Flash is an all-purpose ballplayer who can play anywhere. I think that very thing is what has kept him from having an extended shot at an everyday job... and likely will continue to do so.
Which is too bad... not a tragedy, but too bad nonetheless... I think he just might prove to be an excellent 2B who can hit .750-.825 with 20+ dingers... but I expect we'll never know... from Flash's perspective, there's worse things that can happen than having a long-ish career as an all-purpose ballplayer coming off the bench... maybe not what he wanted, but better than what happens to most guys. The main thing I don't like is that we'll likely never find out what Flash might have been as an everyday guy... and I think one of his strengths, his versatility, is one of the things that made that lost chance happen...