It took more than the rain last night to dampen the Orioles’ enthusiasm over Manny Machado’s first injury rehab game at Single-A Frederick.
Machado had three hits, all for extra bases, and could come off the disabled list next weekend. However, first baseman Chris Davis may go on it if his oblique injury proves to be more serious than he’s anticipating
When it rains, it pours.
The best-case scenario is it’s a Grade 1 strain, which takes less time to heal, but it’s still a process for a player to swing a bat without pain.
The Orioles don’t have an obvious replacement for Davis. Not that it’s easy to replace a guy who hit 53 home runs last season.
Ryan Flaherty took over at first last night, but he’s only a short-term solution. Nick Markakis has played three games at first base. Steve Clevenger is the backup catcher, so he’s not going to get regular playing time at first unless the Orioles purchase catcher Caleb Joseph’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
The Tides don’t offer much help at first. Chris Marrero is batting .210 with two homers in 17 games. Former first-round pick Brett Wallace is batting .167 with no homers in 20 games.
Marrero missed significant time in spring training with his first oblique injury.
It’s a small oblique world after all.
David Adams has played four games at first base in the majors and two in the minors. He could be recalled today, though he’s only hitting .200 with three doubles and two homers in 17 games.
Double-A Bowie’s Christian Walker is hitting .315 with three doubles, four home runs and 18 RBIs in 21 games. He’s a prospect, but it’s probably too soon to consider him a full-time starter in the majors.
Where have you gone, Joe Mahoney?
Yes, Kendrys Morales remains on the free-agent market. The Orioles are aware of it. But he’s viewed as a designated hitter in this organization due to concerns over his fielding - not just Davis’ presence on the roster. Also, how far have his contract demands come down, if at all?
Steve Pearce was designated for assignment on Tuesday - nice timing - and would have to clear waivers before the Orioles could attempt to bring him back.
It’s just a bitter pill for the Orioles to swallow as they inch closer to getting Machado back in their lineup. J.J. Hardy has played in only 14 of 22 games due to back spasms and a hamstring injury. Too many holes being punched in the infield.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on MASN.