This, that and the other

How many Orioles fans are bypassing Camden Yards tonight and heading to Frederick for Manny Machado’s first injury rehab game?

Machado is scheduled to play nine innings at third base. He won’t be babied on this assignment.

Machado is expected to spend the entire weekend with the Keys, so plan accordingly.

Once Machado was cleared to slide into the bases and play in extended spring training games, the Orioles aimed for him to come off the disabled list in the first week of May. That’s still the plan.

OK, it’s not the same as being ready on opening day, but I’d think most fans would be thrilled with an early-May debut, considering the surgery and how Machado had to be shut down in spring training with calf soreness. It’s been a tedious process and the Orioles were wise not to rush it.

Who wants Machado batting second for the Orioles? Who wants Nelson Cruz to stay in that slot, with Machado dropped near the bottom until, maybe, he shakes off whatever rust remains attached to him?

I don’t know how the Orioles will make room for Machado on the 25-man roster. If no other moves are made before he’s activated, they most likely would option left-hander T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk and return to a 12-man pitching staff. Otherwise, the Orioles would option an infielder.

You know the candidates - Jonathan Schoop, Ryan Flaherty and Steve Lombardozzi. Flaherty and Lombardozzi also can play the outfield if needed.

Lombardozzi figures to stay. The Orioles probably want Schoop playing second base every day, whether it’s in the majors or at Norfolk.

I’d love to have the combined distances of Schoop’s two major league home runs. The ball really jumps off his bat. He’s been known to put on a show in batting practice.

Cruz is batting .312 with six homers and 23 RBIs. Much too soon to fret over how much it would cost to re-sign him, but he may not be quite as big a bargain in 2015.

David Lough stole his third and fourth bases last night. He predicted over the winter and in spring training that he could swipe 30 bags in a season. Just needs to stay healthy and in the lineup.

Lough registered his third outfield assist last night, but I was really impressed when he tagged up at second on a fly ball down the left field line and hustled to third with one out. He’s got the speed, instincts and aggressiveness to be a weapon on the bases.

I wonder if he celebrated with a kale smoothie?

Lough will have a reunion tonight with his former Kansas City teammates. Same goes for Danny Valencia and Jeremy Guthrie with the Orioles. And Bruce Chen is back in Baltimore, as well.

Chris Davis has reached base in 20 consecutive games.

Fans ask which catcher would come up from the minors if Matt Wieters or Steve Clevenger went on the disabled list. Caleb Joseph is the No. 1 in-house candidate.

Chance Sisco, the second-round pick last year out of Santiago (Calif.) High School, is regarded by some folks in the organization as the top catching prospect, since Michael Ohlman could eventually move to another position. They’re both prospects.

Ubaldo Jimenez makes his fifth start tonight and his third at home. He’s 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA over 11 1/3 innings at Camden Yards.

Jimenez is 4-2 with a 3.53 ERA in nine career starts against Kansas City and is riding a two-game winning streak.

Jimenez is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts this season and has gone six, 4 2/3, 5 1/3 and 5 1/3 innings. Can he bust through the wall tonight? Not unless he lowers his pitch count. He threw 107 in 5 1/3 innings in Boston over the weekend.

Eric Hosmer is 8-for-22 with two homers lifetime against Jimenez.

Yordano “Don’t Call Me Robin” Ventura makes his fourth start of the season and his seventh in the majors. He’s never faced the Orioles.

Ventura, 22, is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA over 17 innings. He’s allowed only one home run.

Right-handers are batting .207 against him this season and lefties are hitting .176.

Opponents are 5-for-14 with two runs scored against Ventura in the first inning. The way he’s pitching, that qualifies as jumping him.

blog comments powered by Disqus