After running six sprints at 90 feet today in Sarasota, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will go full-speed at 180 feet Tuesday morning. He also could run the bases for the first time, another huge step in his progression following knee surgery exactly six months ago.
Machado hasn’t been cutting the bases and that’s the most important test before he’s cleared for extended spring training games, which should come later this week. His schedule calls for him to play in two or three games before joining an affiliate on an injury rehab assignment.
An assignment normally lasts up to 20 days for a position player and 30 days for a pitcher. It can be extended if approved by the players association.
Cutting the bases “is kind of where he got a little setback last time,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It will be another hurdle to cross.”
Showalter spoke with minor league medical coordinator Dave Walker this morning and exchanged text messages with Machado.
“Manny’s feeling good. Hopefully, he’ll feel as well tomorrow as he did today,” Showalter said.
“I gave him the old line my mother used to say, ‘Just because God delays doesn’t mean he denies.’ He had a nice response. I won’t throw him under the bus. There’s the expression, ‘I know God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle, but I wish he didn’t have so much confidence in me.’ I think that’s where he is with it, the way he put it.
“I think he’s been down this road enough that he knows. He wants to get it right the first time. He’s got a lot of good people around him who won’t let him get ahead of himself. And the things they’re putting him through, it’s going to be pretty obvious if he can do them, he’s ready to go. If he can’t, we’re in another boat.
“As Dave said today, he’s got a good face going right now, and we all know what he’s talking about. Not like the bitter beer face or something.”
Dylan Bundy threw 35 pitches today and mixed in his changeup for the first time. He will start throwing his breaking ball at the end of the week.
“He’s doing good,” Showalter said.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, on the 60-day disabled list, still isn’t doing baseball activities in Sarasota. He continues to receive treatment on his neck.
Update: In addition to running, Machado took four at-bats in a simulated game.