CHICAGO – The Orioles hoped to have third baseman Manny Machado back from a right knee injury sometime next month, but any postseason run for the Orioles will be without their 22-year-old 2013 All-Star and Platinum Glove winner.
Machado will have surgery on his right knee next week that will end his season, according to an industry source.
This would be the second consecutive year that Machado’s season has ended with surgery to one of his knees. Last September, he suffered a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee that required surgery and caused him to miss the first month of this season. He had also suffered a similar injury to his left kneecap in the minor leagues playing for Delmarva in 2011.
Machado injured his right knee Aug. 11 when he fell to the ground following through on a swing. The team diagnosed the injury as a knee sprain.
The Orioles, who led the American League East by 8 1/2 games heading into Friday night’s games, have played well without Machado. They are 26-18 without him in the starting lineup.
He would be the second cornerstone player lost for the season. Catcher Matt Wieters played just 26 games this season before having right elbow ligament reconstruction surgery — commonly known at Tommy John — in June.
The Orioles have not made an announcement regarding Machado, but executive vice president Dan Duquette will discuss the situation before Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, the club announced.
Before Friday’s game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that there was no plan for Machado to resume baseball activities this week, adding definitively that Machado would be unable to return from the disabled list when he’s eligible on Aug. 27.
“That won't happen,” Showalter said. “I'll probably try to bring some clarity and everything to where we are with that situation, try to gather exactly what he's being told, as far as when baseball activities would start and all that stuff. I'll try to clear that up for you probably tomorrow and get a more definitive idea.”
The club hasn’t revealed much information about the specifics of Machado’s injury, never announcing the grade of the sprain or the ligament affected.
The loss of Machado will force the Orioles to evaluate whether they need to make an acquisition to shore up a thin infield. Chris Davis, normally the club’s starting first baseman, has filled in for Machado at third with Steve Pearce receiving the majority of starts at first. Both Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop have experience at third base, but one of the two usually starts at second.
In 82 games this season, Machado hit .278/.324/.431 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs.
Before the injury, Machado was starting to hit his stride at the plate, hitting .351/.385/.544 with five homers and 15 RBIs over his last 28 games, raising his batting average 39 points from .239 to .278.
In his first full big league season, Machado won the AL Platinum Glove as the league’s top overall defensive player, played in his first All-Star Game and led the AL with 51 doubles.
Yahoo Sports first reported that Machado will undergo knee surgery.