Third baseman Manny Machado, who is continuing his rehabilitation from left knee surgery, played in his second minor league game Saturday afternoon in the High-A Frederick Keys’ 4-2 loss.
Machado had a single in four at-bats and also played all nine innings in the field. He made a throwing error.
The 21-year-old is now 4-for-8 in two games with the Keys. He will play third base in Frederick again on Sunday and then either stay with the Keys for Monday’s game or go to Triple-A Norfolk.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter did not rule him out of the Orioles’ upcoming, two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the more likely scenario is that he goes with the team on its road trip to Minnesota and Tampa.
“I wouldn't say anything is off the table right now,” Showalter said. “We will have a pretty good idea after tomorrow.”
Showalter said Machado's return to the majors would not be determined by how long first baseman Chris Davis’ will be sidelined by his oblique injury.
“It shouldn’t. That’d be a bad reason. It’s a baseball decision now, as much as physical … when he’s had enough at-bats to come up here,” Showalter said.
Showalter confirmed what Davis said Saturday afternoon about his left oblique injury. It hasn’t worsened and seems to be getting better. An MRI was taken and the Orioles won’t make any determinations regarding a disabled list stint right now.
“We’ll see. You try to wait on players as much as you can,” Showalter said. “Getting (Jemile Weeks) here helps. I’m not going to get into that gloom and doom.”
Showalter said he has several options at first base to temporarily fill in for Davis. And Markakis, who has played just three big league games at the position, is Saturday’s option. Showalter told him on Friday night.
“I knew what Nick’s response was going to be, ‘What do you need?’” Showalter said. “Or, ‘What do we need?’ More importantly, is what he says.”
-- Showalter said Johan Santana (shoulder) will throw 45 pitches over roughly three innings in a simulated game Monday in Sarasota, Fla and then one inning or 15 to 20 pitches on Saturday, May 3 in an extended spring game.