SARASOTA, FLA. -- Third baseman Manny Machado is tentatively scheduled to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache on March 18 in Los Angeles, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Showalter said he was uncertain whether that appointment would give Machado the green light he needs before he can play in spring training games, but Machado has said his next visit to the doctor would be to receive clearance to play.
Machado is nearly a full participant in spring drills. He’s taking batting practice and fielding grounders, but the club is holding him back from running the bases and making sharp lateral movements.
Cruz nears debut
Nelson Cruz will make his spring debut in the Orioles Grapefruit League home opener on Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays.
“He’s been doing a lot,” Showalter said. “He was kind of updating me on everything he’s been doing. I may wait and see if he wants to even DH or play tomorrow. I doubt it. I don’t want to take him to Tampa. The plan is for him to play on Saturday."
Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is slated to make his first spring start on March 7 against the Phillies at home.
South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon could also pitch on that day, but he could be pushed back because he needs to travel to Canada to process his work visa.
Speaking of work visas, Alfredo Aceves – who left the team to return to Mexico for his visa – is expected to return to the team on Thursday night and resume workouts on Friday.
Powerful showing in intrasquad game
As for Wednesday’s intrasquad game, Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer and Chris Davis and Delmon Young also added shots.
“He’s going to be a good player,” Showalter said of Schoop. “It’s just a matter of when.
“He can turn some wind around, he added. “Jon’s got a lot of ability. He’s kind of gone through that baby fat stage. This is a big, strong man. He weighs 230 now. He’s carrying it well and he can really turn a double play well, too.”
Young and Davis hit back-to-back homers in the fifth innings off right-hander Edgmer Escalona. Young’s shot cleared the left-center field fence, hit a television camera platform beyond the wall and almost hit team executive Brady Anderson.
Davis then hit an opposite-field shot into the left field picnic court.