If the Orioles believe they can get Tuesday's game in, third baseman Manny Machado will be dressed for it, according to an industry source.
Machado will be in Baltimore today and, if the weather cooperates, he will be activated and playing in a major league game for the first time since September.
Machado, 21, has been sidelined since having left knee surgery in October. He had been rehabilitating at the club’s spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., before heading out on a three-game minor league rehab stint at High-A Frederick.
Machado played three games with the Keys, going 8-for-12. He was supposed to play one more game Monday, but it was postponed because of rain.
The Orioles have a 20-day minor league rehab window before the need to activate Machado, but he has already compiled nearly 50 at-bats, including the 30-plus plate appearances he accumulated in simulated and extended spring games in Sarasota.
And during his brief time in Frederick, the concentration was on testing his knee in real-game situations -- such as cutting on plays at third base, running the bases and sliding -- as opposed to judging his performance in competition.
The Orioles had been targeting this week to activate Machado -- either for the Pittsburgh Pirates series that begins Tuesday at Camden Yards or for the road trip that starts Friday in Minnesota.
The only question now is whether rain showers that have been predicted for much of the next two days in Baltimore will relent enough for Machado’s season debut.
Machado batted .283 last season and led the American League in doubles (51) while hitting 14 homers in 156 games. He also won the American League Gold Glove at third base and the Platinum Glove for the best defender at any position in the AL.
He was on his way to playing every game last season before injuring the knee while running to first base on Sept. 23 in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
The Orioles currently have an open spot on their 25-man roster after placing first baseman Chris Davis on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's game.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun