After spending most of this summer not playing on a team, O’s first-round draft pick Manny Machado admits he is still knocking some rust off.
He’s played two games as a DH in the Gulf Coast League and tonight he debuts for the Aberdeen IronBirds here at Ripken Stadium, where he will bat third and play shortstop vs. Vermont.
“I’ve definitely been rusty, but you’ve got to adjust. I’m getting back into shape.
“(This is) Very different. Gulf Coast League was hot. This is nice here, I like it. Very different from the Gulf Coast League.
“I’m excited for tonight. Going to be a good day, today.”
Machado went hitless in his first GCL game and then his first hit as a pro was a two-run homer on Saturday.
“It was great. My first two at bats before that, I just missed them and I knew that third at bat was going to get it. Threw me a fastball and I just jumped on it and glad it went out.
“For now, I’m just getting use to the professional life. Going out there every day and giving 110 percent. Next year will be a different goal, you know. But this year it’s go out and have fun and get used to it,” the 18-year-old Machado said.
With all the attention he’s been getting, Machado was asked if he looks forward to a time when he can be just another player.
“I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see,” he said.
Machado spent a few days in Sarasota working with O’s minor league instructor Mike Bordick.
“He’s a great guy and he knows his stuff. He’s taught me a lot these past couple of days.”
Machado is expected to report to the Orioles scaled-down instructional league workouts in September at Camden Yards. He said he was not sure if there were plans to play any winter ball or not.
The O’s have indicated they have modest expectations for Machado in the few games he will play this year and he does for himself as well.
“Just get used to it, get the feel for it. Nothing much you can do, the season is over in about a week.”
One reporter pointed out to Machado that some players have made the Majors at a very young ago like Jason Heyward of the Braves.
“Oh yeah, I’ll believe I’ll be up here young. It’s up to me, not only to the club. I have to do what I was picked to do, work hard and show people what I was paid to do.”
Check back throughout tonight’s game as I post updates on Machado, Mychal Givens, Conner Narron and the rest of the IronBirds in their game with the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Meanwhile, here are some roster moves from Bowie today.
Pitcher Pedro Beato and OF Tyler Henson were placed on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 24, and RHP Josh Perrault was activated from the 7-day disabled list as was OF Danny Figueroa. With the moves, the Baysox maintain a complete 24-man roster.
Beato is expected to return soon. He had an injection and is expected to resume throwing in the next day or two.
The news is not as good on Henson, who is going to miss what is left of this season after tearing ligaments in his left thumb. He is undergoing an MRI today to determine the exact severity of that injury.
Henson played in 124 games for the Baysox, batting .278-12-60 with 37 doubles. His doubles and home run totals were both career highs.
Meanwhile, Frederick outfielder Kyle Hudson will miss a few days with a head contusion.