Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated that third baseman Manny Machado could decide to drop the appeal of his five-game suspension, handed down today by Major League Baseball. It’s currently under discussion.
Otherwise, a hearing could be held next week in New York. The Orioles have an off day on June 19 before starting a three-game series against the Yankees on the following night.
Ideally, the Orioles would prefer to have the suspension begin on the off-day. Though it wouldn’t count as one of the days served by Machado, it would allow the Orioles to have a rested bullpen if they send down a reliever and bring up another infielder.
“Manny is going to appeal now,” Showalter said. “I talked to him on the phone earlier in the day about it and talked him to again. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I think right now he’s going to appeal and take 24 hours to think about the next step. Plus, probably the most important thing for him right now is make sure he puts the club in a position in case we make an adjustment in our roster. It’s a little short notice to get somebody here if he started tonight. I think that’s his biggest concern, trying to see if he can help us lessen the blow on the impact on the roster.
“That’s going to be up to him. If he asks for advice, we’ll give it to him. There’s a precedent set here before about the way things go down, the punishment for those things, and obviously this is more than that. So there’s some common sense involved, too.”
Machado’s reputation has taken a serious hit throughout baseball following the incidents over the weekend.
“He’s a 21-year-old young man that made a mistake and he’s done the right thing since then to move forward with it the way it’s supposed to be done when you make a mistake, like we all have. Now there’s some more steps involved before we can put it behind us,” Showalter said.
Oakland pitcher Fernando Abad received only a fine for twice throwing at Machado.
“It is what it is,” Showalter said. “Nobody can judge intent. We all know what was going on with Abad. How they chose to do it, they have precedent. That’s why, when I talk about the five days, there is no precedent. So, you think it would be reduced, but maybe not.”
Showalter pretty much dismissed the idea that Machado could be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, a suggestion that hasn’t been met favorably inside the clubhouse.
Adam Jones is serving as the designated hitter for the second consecutive game, but he’s expected to be in center field Wednesday night.
“Beautiful,” Jones said. “Just let my legs get some rest. I think (Nick) Markakis and I are going to be able to DH a little bit more this year. Let our legs heal and be ready for that September.”
Jones apparently is bothered by a bruised heel and could undergo X-rays if his condition doesn’t improve.
Nolan Reimold is playing left field and batting third tonight at Double-A Bowie.
Dylan Bundy will pitch for short-season Single-A Aberdeen Sunday night at Hudson Valley in New York.
Miguel Gonzalez said his oblique is much better and he’s supposed to play catch today. He could pitch at Bowie within the next few days.
Catcher Matt Wieters said he will continue to throw every other day until his scheduled appointment on Monday with Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Wieters felt some discomfort in the elbow yesterday and decided to have Andrews re-examine it.
“The elbow just wasn’t quite discomfort-free,” he said. “It was something where we were hoping it would be a little further along at this point, and at this point in the year we want to make sure that we get the best eyes on it and be able to have him look at it and be able to make a decision when he sees it.”
Wieters still can’t say with any certainty that he will avoid season-ending surgery.
“Until it’s completely pain-free, I’ll always have that sort of doubt in my mind,” he said. “We’ve been trying to give it every avenue it can to heal and we just want to make sure we do everything we can.
“I’m going to continue throwing just because if he says keep going with it we want to be right back on schedule.”
Wieters will have to make a decision on surgery within the coming weeks if he wants to be ready for opening day.
“You think about one thing every spring training and that’s winning the World Series this year, especially with this group of guys we have,” he said. “It’s a special group and if it does come down to not playing it’ll be hard for me to miss playing with these guys, but at the same time, whatever can get me back to playing like I can know I can play the quickest is kind of the route we want to go.”
Asked if he could be ready to catch by July 1, Wieters said, “Anything is possible and that’s kind of what we keep waiting on. I think that deadline was always just a point because if it’s not looking promising for this year, we just want to make sure we do everything we can to have a full year next year if it comes to that.
“It happens to a lot of guys when they’re having a lot of good seasons. It’s more just something that we’re going to have to deal with the best way possible.”
Wieters acknowledged that if Andrews recommends surgery on Monday, he could undergo the procedure the following day.
“It definitely could go like that,” he said. “If we do decide that that’s the route to go, then the quicker the better, obviously.”
Jones and a few other Orioles were asked about Machado’s suspension.
“You do the crime, you do the time. He understands it. We’re going to miss him,” he said.
“It’s not my situation. He’s going to handle it the way he’s going to handle it. We’re going to miss him. It is what it is. It’s business. He learned he can’t do what he did.”
Prodded for further comment, Jones said, “First off, you guys are happy something like this happened, the media is, because you’re running with it with a frenzy. So, we keep it in house. We keep our things that we do in house. It’s made national by you guys. We handle it the way we handle it and he’s going to serve it with pride and with dignity and bring his tail back to his lineup.”
First baseman Chris Davis said players knew the suspension was coming.
“Obviously, after everything that happened the last few days, we knew something was going to happen. It’s part of it. You screw up, you have to deal with the consequences. He’ll deal with it and move on. We’ve already moved on,” he said.
Davis added that he would immediately begin serving the suspension.
“Personally, I would kind of let it go away,” he said. “I’m not in his shoes. It’s easy to say that on the outside looking in. It is what it is. He knows he screwed up. Now, he has to serve his suspension. Now, we move on.”
Could the suspension prove beneficial to Machado in the long run?
“I think adversity is good if you handle it the right way,” Davis said. “I’ve been in this position before. I’ve been in way worse than his position before. I was fortunate enough that it was early in my career, that I was young. I was proud of the way I handled it. I think if you really treat it the right way and try to learn from it, it can be a learning experience. Manny’s a good kid. He’s not a bad person. He got fired up. This is a game of emotion. He’s going to bounce back from it.
“I think it’s more of the group of guys we have in the clubhouse. We really pride ourselves on playing the game the right way. You don’t see guys pimping home runs here, yelling at other guys when they strike him out. We pride ourselves on being professional here, whether we’re in first place or last place. A lot of times in this game, that gets lost. People want to shine the spotlight on themselves. They want to pump themselves up and forget about what it’s like to be a professional. We take a lot of pride in that. We’re not going to let anybody push us around, but we’re going to play the game the right way. I think that’s really the biggest thing to remember here, is let’s be professionals on a daily basis.”
The players met with Machado yesterday before heading onto the field for batting practice, which brought the group together even more.
“I think so,” Davis said. “I think it was more about addressing issues that had gone on the past couple of days. I don’t think we need anybody to tell us we have a playoff contending team. I think every guy in here knows that and I think that every guy comes to the field every day motivated to be better and to win ballgames, and sometimes you have to address a few issues. And I think that’s part of what it’s about.”