Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn't dismiss the possibility of third baseman Manny Machado being activated from the disabled list for the two-game series against the Pirates that begins Tuesday night at Camden Yards.
"I wouldn't say anything is off the table right now. We will have a pretty good idea after tomorrow," Showalter said.
Showalter also stated that it's "in the realm of possibility" that Machado will be activated next weekend in Minnesota.
"Got a big realm," Showalter said.
Machado, who went 1-for-4 today while playing nine innings at third base at Single-A Frederick, also could remain in Frederick or report to Triple-A Norfolk. Double-A Bowie is in Richmond and the Baysox apparently aren't an option.
Is Norfolk closer than Richmond? Someone get me a map.
Machado likely will play nine innings at third base again Sunday at Frederick.
"That's what he's going to do here," Showalter said. "Regardless of the score, if it's three or four hours, stay there. Stay on the field."
Machado won't be rushed onto the active roster simply because first baseman Chris Davis is hurt.
"That would be a bad reason," Showalter said. "It's a baseball decision now as much as physical. That's the way Richie (Bancells) and him put it. When he's had enough at-bats to come up here. This will give him close to 40 now."
Showalter said he's "encouraged" that Davis' left oblique doesn't feel worse today, and that he's a "tad better." The Orioles are awaiting the results of an MRI.
"It's day to day. We'll see," Showalter said. "You try to wait on players as much as you can. Getting JW (Jemile Weeks) here helps. I'm not going to get into that gloom and doom."
Davis said the oblique feels "better than it did yesterday."
"Still a little sore," he said. "I think a lot of it has to do with the poking and prodding.
I feel better today. I got the MRI earlier today. I can't read those things. I don't know how it went. I was in a tube, sweating profusely. We'll see how it goes."
Davis expects to avoid the disabled list.
"Oh yeah," he said. "As sore as I was yesterday, I don't think it was a DL thing. It was kind of like what Buck said, try and get ahead of it now so it doesn't turn into a DL thing. The biggest thing to remember is we've got a lot of games to play. Missing one or two games now is better than missing 10 or 15 down the road.
"I'm still going through treatment. That takes a good chunk of time. See how it feels after that. I don't expect to be doing too much today, but hopefully we can test and see how I feel. And then maybe see what we've got tomorrow."
Davis could benefit from off days on Monday and Thursday.
"It's always helpful knowing you can take advantage of those," he said." Like I said, we'll take it one day at a time. Not try to get ahead of ourselves.
"Yesterday, I think I was so tired and really sore and obviously aggravated it after the game. Today, after having a little bit of rest and going through a round of treatment, I feel a little bit better.
"I still think it's too early to tell. We'll take it one day at a time. see how it goes."
Nick Markakis' experience at first base in college played a big role in the decision to start him tonight at Davis' position, according to Showalter.
"I knew what Nick's response was going to be. 'What do you need?' Or, 'What do we need?' more importantly is what he says," Showalter said.
Matt Wieters won't catch Sunday afternoon coming off tonight's game, so look for Steve Clevenger behind the plate.
Showalter seems reluctant to start Wieters at first, though he said, "Never say never."
"You worry a little bit about footwork, which is a big thing for a guy's first go at first base," Showalter said. "That's why Nicky takes some work there from time to time every once in a while. Footwork is the big thing where you worry about getting tangled up over there."
The Orioles won't announce their Wednesday starter against the Pirates until Bud Norris takes a work day to test his hamstring. Norris told me that he's "good to go."
Showalter was concerned last night that one of his infielders was showing signs of the virus that's been sweeping through the clubhouse, but it turned out to be a migraine headache. The unnamed player is fine today.
For the Royals
Nori Aoki RF
Omar Infante 2B
Eric Hosmer 1B
Billy Butler DH
Alex Gordon LF
Salvador Perez C
Danny Valencia 3B
Justin Maxwell CF
Alcides Escobar SS
Jeremy Guthrie RHP