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Manny Machado could join the Orioles as soon as next weekend

Apr 24, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

Manny Machado AP AP

Manny Machado‘s road back from knee surgery is almost complete.

Machado is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with High-A Frederick, but Eddie A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun hears that the Orioles are projecting a possible return during their three-game series against the Twins next weekend in Minnesota.

This is a tentative plan, as the Orioles still want to see how Machado responds to playing three games with Frederick. If all goes well, he’ll likely move have one final test in Double-A or Triple-A before joining the big club.

Position players are permitted to spend up to 21 days on a minor league rehab assignment, but Machado has already logged more than 30 at-bats between simulated and extended spring training games. Assuming no issues with his surgically-repaired right knee, he shouldn’t need much time to shake the rust.

Machado, 21, batted .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs, 51 doubles, and 71 RBI in 156 games last season prior to tearing the medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee in late September. He won his first Gold Glove Award after the season for his excellent defense at the hot corner. The Orioles are hoping that the best is yet to come.

  1. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    This pleases the masses in Balmir.

    I would also like to note Schoop is getting his chances at second now. And Lombardozzi gets a ton of starts as well. The only one who has yet to play a game at second? Flaherty. Will he be the odd man out. My gut says no (because he’s Buck’s boy) but i can’t see how he wouldn’t be the guy headed down. Based on statistics and what have you.

    • randomdigits - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      They might send Schoop down to get the seventh year.

    • cktai - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:27 AM

      Flaherty will probably be kept as utility infielder, as he is a better fielder than Schoop and Lombardozzi on all three infield positions. My guess would be that they send down Schoop, at least until they secure that extra year of control, so that he can work on his pitch recognition.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        I agree that Flaherty is better at all 3 positions where he’d be summoned but looking at averages alone, how do you justify keeping up a guy in Flaherty who is hitting nearly 100 points lower than Schoop (who may I add has 2 HR’s and 10 RBI’s compared to Flaherty’s 0 and 3, respectively). I guess my question is simply whether the defensive gain is worth giving up the bat.

        I do think the ONLY way Schoop stays up is if they start him at second, which would mean Lombo as the utility INF. I’m okay with that. Again, Lombo is equal to Flaherty defensively on the right side of the diamond, and hitting 150 points better than him.

        I think my fear is sacrificing offense for defense in this case. But I guess we should get some resolution in about a week…

      • cktai - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        I don’t think there is such a big difference between Flaherty and Lombardozzi. Obviously Flaherty has been awful so far, but his career numbers far more respectable. He has a little more pop than Lombardozzi, but gets on base less. Their career wRC+ is almost equal. And the fact they used Flaherty as SS shows that the Orioles organization has more confidence in Flaherty’s fielding than Lombardozzi’s fielding.

        Either way it won’t make much difference. Let’s just hope Schoop starts to draw some walks while keeping his power.

  2. mudhead123 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Ears

    • renaado - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      Now that you mention it, he does look like an elf in that picture.

  3. bmore55 - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    Cant wait til Manny is back hope they get Schoop as everyday 2nd baseman hes earned the spot hes the future and hes doing great why send him down. Interested to see what Buck does with the lineup once Manny is back.

  4. psly2124 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    School cost us two games at third. The misplay turning away from the ball in Boston and against Toronto. Schoop will be a stud at second in a couple of years. Actually he may be the third baseman I’d we don’t resign hardy. This team will start clicking once manny gets back in at third. The pitching will get better and we will go on a run

  5. thebirdsareback - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    If hardy stays healthy and manny hits a solid .275 or so, the offense will be running full steam! They just scored 21 run in two nights like it was nothing. And the pitching appears to be coming along nicely. Toronto looks very good I must say I was impressed with them. The Orioles April schedule has been miserable! Terrible cold weather, windy, nasty, and the schedule has been very hard so far. Yankees, 7 already against Boston, 6 already against Toronto, and 3 already in detroit freezing nuts. The Birds are gonna start stringing together some win here with the schedule letting up a bit. Hope we can bring it against guthrie and the Royals. I miss that guy, he was a real baller for us, no run support back then

  6. watermelon1 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Schoop…. Better pick up the hitting because you won’t be seeing the field again anytime soon!

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