Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was able to walk without help after Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees, but he said he has no feel for what Tuesday’s MRI on his injured right knee might show.
“We don't know,” he said. “We will know more tomorrow about what’s wrong with it. The MRI will give us an idea of how many days I’m going to be out. That’s what’s going to tell us what’s going on.”
Machado suffered a right knee sprain on a swing in the third inning and appeared to be in great pain after he crumpled to the ground. He eventually was helped up and assisted off the field by head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter.
The knee was X-rayed at the ballpark Monday night and nothing obvious showed up, leaving room for hope that the injury will not sideline Machado for a significant time period.
But Machado will undergo the MRI today at 10 a.m., and he almost certainly will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Orioles almost certainly will recall a minor league infielder before Tuesday's game -- perhaps utility player Steve Lombardozzi -- with the availability of Machado and veteran shortstop J.J. Hardy (sprained thumb) in question.
“[It’s] just a little sore,’’ Machado said. “A little sore … We’ll just keep icing it, and hopefully it’s nothing too bad. That’s what we are praying for. We’ll just wait and see. It’s just a waiting process. Wait 'til tomorrow morning.”
No doubt, the drama at home plate sent a shiver through the organization, since the Oriole lost Machado to a left knee injury last September that kept him sidelined through the first month of the 2014 season. It had to throw a major scare into Machado, who needed some time to get his feet on the ground after he returned from the surgery, but is back playing terrific defense and has made a big surge at the plate over the past six weeks.
In his last four games, he had eight hits in 16 at-bats to help energize an Orioles offense that only recently pulled out of a lengthy slump.
“He seems to be in pretty good spirits, considering he has had some experience with it, so we’re hoping for good news tomorrow,’’ Showalter said. “There’s a chance that we dodged a bullet. We’ll see.”
Machado had a pair of crutches leaning against his locker after the game, but he walked through the locker room to meet with reporters.
“I hate crutches,’’ he said. “I thought I put those down a long time ago. We’ll see. I don’t want to use them. I feel not too bad to use them, but I’m going to use them to stay off my feet. We’ll see where it goes.”
Showalter said after the game that he was proud of the way his team bounced back from an early defensive glitch and avoided an emotional letdown when Machado got hurt.
“Our guys don’t live in that gloom and doom,’’ he said. “You know Matt [Wieters] went out and there was a period there. Obviously, we think the world of Manny and know how much it means to him and he’s a good player on our club, but the game doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop when [Yankees catcher] Brian McCann has a concussion, and it doesn’t stop when [Masahiro] Tanaka gets hurt. The game goes on when we lose players like everybody does.
“ We’re not going to get caught up in that gloom and doom and the sky is falling. We’re already looking at, hopefully we don’t have to DL him and he’s back in a few days. Same thing with J.J. Maybe he comes in tomorrow and is ready to go.”
Showalter wouldn’t speculate on the roster move, other to concede the obvious. The Orioles probably need an infielder and perhaps a second player if they have to DL both Machado and Hardy.
To prepare for that possibility, the club moved back Miguel Gonzalez’s minor league start from Tuesday night to Wednesday, since he would not be required to stay 10 days to complete his optional assignment if the Orioles made a DL move.