Lots of moving parts and balls in the air, as manager Buck Showalter likes to say.
Machado eventually will be starting at third base. The weather just needs to cooperate.
Will Machado’s presence in the lineup provide a spark for a team that lost first baseman Chris Davis to an oblique strain and scored only six runs in three games against the Royals?
“It depends on if you think we need sparking,” Showalter said. “Any time you add a player of Manny’s ability and potential, it bodes well. The good thing, like we talk about all the time, when you bring young players up here, their ability to stay on the field is their ability to defend. That’s why Jon’s been able to make contributions up here. Schoop.
“We feel like Manny can contribute to us defensively if there are some periods he goes through offensively like all guys do. I think that is something I think we’re looking for, some solidity over there at third base, as much as anything else.”
Machado’s rehab assignment could have lasted 20 days, but he appeared in only three games at Single-A Frederick before joining the Orioles.
“He’s actually had a lot more than that,” Showalter said. “He’s had over 50 plate appearances. He’s been around the baseball atmosphere and seen pitching for quite a period of time now. This is not where he’s been in the training room and all of a sudden went and played three games in Frederick. I really applaud Dave Walker and the whole medical team for all the work they did down in Sarasota in the offseason. Real proud to watch how they went about their business.
“This is Manny’s call as much as anything, because we talked to him and certainly he’s been really mature about taking the ‘wanting to be here so badly’ out of it, and if anything, he’s helped kind of slow the process down a little bit. That’s why I wasn’t asking every day, ‘How are you feeling now? How do you feel after that at-bat? How do you feel after that throw?’ He doesn’t need that. When he’s ready, he’ll know. And the good thing is he knows what’s needed up here to play at this level and I’ve got a lot of faith in him.
“I told you a few days ago it was a baseball decision, not a medical decision, with the number of plate appearances and the number of people that have seen him. I think this is the next step, and just because he doesn’t get a hit for a few games, that can happen anyway. Some of the pitchers that we have to face at this level, that can happen whether you’re on top of your game or not.”
Machado wants to stay in the lineup once he’s activated, but the Orioles will continue to monitor him.
“We’re certainly going to take a look every day on where he is, but we do that with all the guys that have had some things,” Showalter said.
“Manny, we’ll take each day as it comes and get feedback from him, and his knee will give him feedback.”
Update: The Orioles confirmed the signing of Pearce to a major league deal, meaning they’ll need to make another roster move to activate Machado.