PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he expects third baseman Manny Machado to resume base-running drills on Sunday.
The Orioles’ 21-year-old All-Star third baseman received clearance on his surgically repaired left knee from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday, but he has yet to resume base-running drills because of a calf strain in the same leg.
Showalter said once Machado resumes running, the first two sessions will be good indicators of whether Machado could be back in time for Opening Day.
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If Machado is able to play in a game this spring, it won’t be a Grapefruit League game. That’s because today is the first day that players can be placed on the disabled list for the 2014 season and provided Machado doesn’t play in a non-gate-revenue game, the Orioles can backdate any DL stint to today. That would mean that as long as he plays in minor league or instrasquad games, he would be eligible to come off the DL on April 6 – and miss just the first five games of the season.
-- Left-hander Johan Santana, who is rehabbing from his second shoulder surgery in three years, threw off a half-mound for the first time. He will have a work day in two days and throw off a half-mound one more time; he then can then move to a full-mound bullpen session.
-- Right-hander Chris Tillman feels better from an illness that forced him to miss his scheduled start on Friday, but Showalter said he’s still not certain when Tillman will pitch next. The Orioles’ Opening Day starter will pitch five days before the season opener, but what kind of work he gets between then and now is unclear.
-- Showalter said that no roster cuts are expected today.