Notes on Gonzalez and Machado

SARASOTA, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez's shin keeps changing color. The red mark has turned to purple and the soreness has increased.

Just as you'd expect after a baseball slams off a tibia.

Gonzalez will throw a light bullpen session today - 15 to 20 pitches - and remains hopeful that he can make his next start. The Orioles have him scheduled to take the mound on Tuesday.

A liner up the middle from Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp nailed Gonzalez on the lower leg Friday afternoon and caused him to spin around before hitting the ground. He quickly got back up and walked off the field after being checked by head athletic trainer Richie Bancells.

Gonzalez said he didn't campaign to stay in the game.

"I didn't say anything," he said. "I was shocked."

Third baseman Manny Machado is still expected to leave camp around March 18 to have his left knee examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. However, he's hoping to avoid a flight to Los Angeles and is checking ElAttrache's schedule.

"We're getting an answer in the next couple of days, trying to see where he's going to be, but around the 18th or 19th, one of those days," Machado said. "We're trying to figure out where he's going to be and try to make the trip shorter if he's going to be here in Florida or wherever he is, trying to not make that trip out there to LA."

Machado is encouraged by his progress from October knee surgery. He's been doing side to side drills and picking up the intensity.

"It's about that time," he said.

"I think things have been going great. Everything's been going smooth. Haven't had any complaints. Even the whole offseason, it's been a smooth ride. Ever since I got here, Buck (Showalter) likes to do things differently. He kind of slowed me down a little bit and we're taking our time. It's a long season, so you don't want to go out there and overdo it and then pull a hammy or tweak something or have (the knee) get swollen. That was the biggest deal. If my knee would have gotten swollen, you're pushing that back two weeks from whatever activity. That muscle is only going to get stronger without that swelling there.

"It's been going great. I'm happy with everything, how it's been playing out so far. Just keep taking it day by day."

Machado recently performed a drill where he ran to first base and hit the bag with both feet, allowing him to clear a mental hurdle.

"It's something that I've got to get that out of my mind," he said. "The more reps I get out there and the more I do it, I'll feel better doing it and it'll be better for me."

The next significant test will come when Machado is cleared to slide, which may happen before he visits ElAttrache.

"I have no idea, honestly," he said. "I think I'll keep running the bases a couple more times and start sliding, I guess, but I have no idea what the next step is."

Though he can't predict whether he'll be ready on opening day, Machado still expects to play in spring training games.

"That's my plan," he said. "I hope I can get in a couple games at least with the team, even if I'm not going to be ready on opening day. I hope I can. I'm pretty sure that I will, but we'll see how I keep feeling this week and the next."

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