Orioles' Manny Machado on strained wrist: 'Hopefully, I can wake up tomorrow and it’s gone'

WASHINGTON — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado sat out Thursday night's 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals after an MRI revealed a strained left wrist, according to an industry source.

The injury came Wednesday when Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen slid into third base on an attempted steal and caught Machado flush on the glove on his left hand, puncturing the skin and leaving a deep bruise while bending the wrist back violently.


"He didn't dodge the slide, it looks like we might have dodged some more extensive damage," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

After Thursday's game, however, Machado said it was something they'd monitor each day, and it improved since Wednesday night. But his description of what he was feeling overshadowed any optimism of a quick return.


"You know what?" Machado said. "He got me pretty good. I'm pretty sore. I haven't been this sore in a long time. Hopefully, I can wake up tomorrow and it's gone, and be able to play this weekend. But we've just got to see how it is. Hopefully, it gets better. It's been getting better, so I kind of told the trainers yesterday, it wasn't looking good last night. It just kept getting worse as the night went on, and I woke up this morning and it was a lot better. Hopefully, it's healing quickly and I can get that bruise out of there."

The team announced that Machado left Wednesday night's walk-off win over the Pirates with left wrist soreness, though Showalter downplayed that aspect of it after the game.

Showalter said Wednesday that Machado had an X-ray at the ballpark, which was negative, but noted a "pretty deep" gash and his hand was "pretty deeply bruised." He conceded Thursday that while his MRI was "good," the wrist was also a problem.

"It's because it pushed it back," Showalter said. "The initial was the puncture wound, but through that, he's going to be sore in a lot of places. So there is some wrist involved.

"They put it in a splint just to be able to keep the inactivity there. … He did take it off to get it treated. I know that he'll sleep with it on, just trying to keep it immobile."

Machado described the pain in a dangerous place for a hitter — right in between his hand and his wrist.

"I think it's a little both," Machado said. "It's kind of in between, so it's kind of sore in a tender spot, a little weird spot right in between them. It's even hard to move it up and down. … Time will tell how I'll heal from it. The good thing is that it's feeling a lot better today than it was yesterday."

Machado said that after the impact Wednesday night, he felt fine to stay in the game at the moment and took a swing in the batting cage in the bottom half of the second inning that felt fine. But when he went out to the field for the third inning, Machado "just felt it getting tight."

"I wasn't able to pick up a bat," he said. "I'm not going to harm the team. I'm not going to go up there and struggle when someone else can come in and take my place and do something better than what I can that day."

It's not the first scare with Machado's wrist this season. On Opening Day, he made the first in a season's worth of highlight-reel plays while diving toward third base. But when he came down to the ground, his wrist bent back hard and he had it heavily iced after the game.

Given Machado's struggles at the plate this season — he's batting a career-low .213/.289/.430 with 12 home runs and 27 RBIs — some have wondered whether there was an underlying problem with that wrist.

Machado has spent most of the season selling out for pull-side power and rarely using the whole field. Trying to yank the ball to left field as Machado has done is one way to compensate for an injury that's limiting bat speed, such as a wrist.


Showalter said this isn't an aggravation of something pre-existing, as far as he knows.

"That was all related to the slide," Showalter said. "He hasn't told us that it was sore, but it could have been. Unfortunate things happen with slides that there's really no intent with. It's a risk you take every day."

Machado, too, said it was about this impact and nothing before.

"I can't read no MRI, but it's just something that's just bruised up," he said. "It caught me in a good spot, right in between the wrist and the hand. That's just something that we're going to have to see how it plays out."

The Orioles lineup without him took on an odd look, with Machado and center fielder Adam Jones out and no designated hitter in a National League park. But the team is also without steadfast bench infielder Ryan Flaherty, who would be used as a deputy to Machado in situations like this.

Paul Janish also played at third base some last season while Machado was standing in at shortstop for J.J. Hardy. But Janish was designated for assignment earlier this week for new utility infielder Rubén Tejada, who took over for Machado on Wednesday but didn't play Thursday.

It has all created a logistical headache for Showalter, who not only doesn't really have a ready-made fill-in for his three-time All-Star third baseman, but knows his team can't afford to be missing him for long.

After Thursday's game, Showalter said he'd evaluate Machado's availability once the team got to Yankee Stadium on Friday.

"Manny is the old day-to-day, but he told [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] this morning that he wasn't as sore as expected to be," Showalter said. "He does have a little wrist soreness there actually from the lick there. We'll see where it is tomorrow. I think it's too early to project what the next couple of days are going to bring. I'm hoping we get in tomorrow and Manny and Adam are back in there."

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