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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Orioles' Machado unlikely for Opening Day due to scar tissue in knee

By on 3/15/2014 01:15:00 PM

According to D.J. Short of HardballTalk, the Orioles haven’t ruled out the possibility that third basemen Manny Machado will be ready for Opening Day, but it’s increasingly likely that he will begin the season on the disabled list.

By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Brittany Ghiroli of reports that Machado has had trouble running for the past week due to scar tissue in his surgically repaired left knee. He can do everything else besides running, so it doesn’t seem serious. Even though it likely isn’t serious, they scheduled a check up with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, but only once he starts to run again. He isn’t close to game action.

“There’s no sense in doing that [appointment] until he can really show them what he can do running,” manager Buck Showalter said of Machado’s final evaluation, which would give him the green-light to play spring games. “So, that’s got to get cleared up first, where he’s back running again. And then he can completely clear him again. I heard from Manny [operating surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache has] got a vacation home in Naples, so we are trying to hook that up. Anything to avoid having to go to the west coast, but if that’s what we have to do that that’s what we have to do.

Manny Machado playing on Opening Day would be a great feat, but it isn’t worth risking another injury. He will likely sit out at least a couple of weeks to start off the season and then return after some minor league games.

In 2013, Machado hit for a slash of .283/.314/.432 wth 14 home runs, 71 runs batted in, while playing in 156 games. He also had an impressive 6.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) while having a just above average wRC+ of 101.

As Steve Melewski of notes, the Orioles could go with Ryan Flaherty at third base and prospect Jonathan Schoop at second base if Machado misses the start of the season.

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