By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
5:54 PM EDT, March 24, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said he won’t circle a day on the calendar when he can return to the major leagues, but he’s hoping that maybe he can get into some type of game action within the next two weeks.
“I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you. I really don’t know,” Machado said about playing games again. “Hopefully within the next two weeks, or maybe even more than that. It could be either [then] or not, we don’t know yet.”
Machado had surgery on his left knee on Oct. 14 and, at the time, the recovery period was considered four to six months. That timetable would put his return in mid-April, but his rehabilitation had to be scaled back some this month due to a slight strain caused by the releasing of scar tissue from his knee.
“I’m only five months out of surgery,” Machado said. “So, obviously, I would have hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but it was just a long shot, just a hope. Now I’ll just get ready, take some base running, go back out there and be part of the team.”
After more than a week running in a pool, Machado ran consecutive days on flat ground before running in the pool again Monday due to the inclement weather in Sarasota. He hasn’t been able to run fully because of the calf strain, but is buoyed that he’s had no pain in the knee.
Once he gets into extended spring training games in Sarasota, he will then go on a rehab assignment in the minors before coming back to the big league club. The 21-year-old All-Star said he refuses to put a specific date on when he wants to return.
When he feels he’s ready, he said he’ll tell manager Buck Showalter. But it certainly will be after April 6, when he first would be eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list.
“Nope, never will. That's not me. I take it day by day,” Machado said. “Whenever that day
is, I'm going to tell Buck, 'Hey, I'm ready.' He knows. He knows how it is. It could be three days into the season, or it could be two months. We really don't know. It depends on how I feel at the plate, and how I feel playing and sliding and playing the game hard. I'm not going to go out there and baby it.”
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said it wasn’t a difficult decision to put Machado on the disabled list to start the season -- a pending move that was announced Sunday.
“He needs to meet some of these thresholds with his running before he can play,” Duquette said. “And after he meets those thresholds running, he probably needs at least 50 at-bats to be prepared to compete in the major leagues. The calendar really drove the decision.”
Around the horn
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen threw three innings in a minor league game at Ed Smith Stadium before the rain. He finished with roughly two more innings as part of a simulated game in the batting cages. … The Orioles released minor league outfielder Steve Bumbry, 25, on Monday. He is the son of longtime Orioles center fielder Al Bumbry. … More cuts aren’t expected until at least Wednesday’s split-squad games. … Left-hander Johan Santana (shoulder) threw from a half mound Monday and right-hander Dylan Bundy (elbow) threw from a flat mound. Bundy will throw from the flat mound at least once more before graduating to a half-mound. … Marianna Weaver, the widow of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, accompanied Showalter out to home plate to exchange the pregame lineup cards. Weaver’s son, Mike, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Showalter said farmhands Juan Morillo and Williams Louico each hit 100 mph in a minor league game Sunday. Morillo reached 101, Showalter said.
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