Machado talks about his pending DL assignment

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles third baseman Manny Machado hasn't circled a date on his calendar for his first game of the spring.

"Never will," he said. "That's not me."

So, what's next for Machado after being told yesterday that the Orioles would put him on the 15-day disabled list prior to opening day.

"Play baseball. That's all," he said.

"Go out there and get ready and come back and help the team whenever I can, whenever I'm ready to play baseball. It's unfortunate but it's just part of it. I'm only five months out of surgery. Obviously, I would have hoped to be ready for opening day, but it was just a longshot, just a hope. Now, I'll just get ready, take some baserunning, go back out there and be part of the team.

"I wasn't even thinking about it. Honestly, I didn't really care. I was just trying to get ready as fast as I can. Fortunately, we've been pretty good, but not there yet. So I want to be 110 percent before I get out there and that's what I'm going to do.

"I'll just keep doing the same things I've been doing. Nothing changes. Just because I got cleared, nothing changes. Go out there and keep doing what I'm doing, little by little, increasing things and hopefully get in games soon."

There's still no timetable.

"I have no idea," he said. "Honestly, I don't have an answer for you. I really don't know. Hopefully, within the next two weeks, or maybe even more than that. It could be either then or not. We don't know yet."

Machado, 21, is still bothered by "aggravating pain," as he called it, in his calf related to the scar tissue breaking up in his knee from the Oct. 14 surgery in Los Angeles.

"Hopefully, that'll be gone soon," he said.

"It's just some scar tissue breaking up. It's not completely come off. But that's going to take some time. I might even keep playing games and scar tissue might still be breaking up. That's just normal from the operation."

Machado ran in the outfield for two days before returning to the pool today due to the weather. His mind is clear, apparently never burdened by the pressure or uncertainty of opening day.

"I honestly don't care," he said. "The only thing I care about is being healthy, whether it was opening day or two weeks from now in extended games or even Bowie or wherever I'm at. I'm just excited to get back out there and get this ... My knee's fine, so that's the only good thing. We'll see where it takes
us, see where it goes.

"I take it day by day. Whenever that day is, I'm going to tell Buck (Showalter), 'Hey, I'm ready.' He knows. He knows how it is. It could be three days into the season or it could be two months. We really don't know. It depends on how I feel at the plate and how I feel playing and sliding and playing the game hard. I'm not going to go out there and baby it."

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