Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the organization may consider holding back Manny Machado from playing third base Friday in his first rehab game with the High-A Frederick Keys due to rain in the area.
Instead, Showalter said, Machado could DH during Friday’s game and then play in the field Saturday, when he was supposed to DH.
Machado, 21, is coming back from offseason surgery on his left knee and Friday will be his first game for an affiliate. Once he plays – in the field or at DH -- it will start his rehab clock of 20 days. The Orioles hope to have him back before then; he has had about 30 at-bats in extended spring.
“In a perfect world, you’d like to see him get the at-bats [on Friday and Saturday],” Showalter said.
-- Major League Baseball altered its “transfer play rule” today, which will allow umpires to call an out even if the defender drops the ball while he is transferring it to his throwing hand, so long as the player clearly had the ball secured initially.
“I applaud the fact that they did it quickly, all things considered,” Showalter said. “We felt like this was coming.”
In Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, shortstop Ryan Flaherty, in his attempt to turn a double play, dropped the ball on transfer after a force out at second base – and the runner was called safe due to the strict interpretation of the rule. The Red Sox went on to score in the inning and eventually won, 7-6.
The Orioles also had the call go their way in Detroit earlier this month, as Showalter points out.
“Refresh my memory, didn’t we benefit from that call, too?” he said. “I’m not going to dwell on it. Ryan and our infielders knew what was going to be called. Whether it was fair or not fair. … It’s not like we weren’t forewarned, and we talked to our guys in the spring about it. We talked to our guys in the advanced meeting about it. Everybody knew. That’s why there wasn’t a whole lot of argument of whatever out there.”
He continued: “Shame on you if you haven’t made your people aware of it. And anybody that comes out and complains about it must have not been listening at the meetings.”
Showalter said he hopes Lough doesn’t try to do too much.
“David is very appreciative of the opportunity he got in Kansas City. He is also appreciative of the opportunity they gave him of trading him here,” Showalter said. “So I don’t think he has got to show them anything.”
-- It’s raining at Camden Yards. Showalter said if the Orioles have to postpone the game, they could make it up as a split (two-admission) doubleheader on Saturday. If that is the case, the Orioles could temporarily call up a player – a pitcher -- for the second game.