Notes on Machado, Wieters, Gonzalez, Gamboa and more

The Orioles know the date that’s been set for third baseman Manny Machado’s appeal, but they’re not commenting on it.

Manager Buck Showalter indicated that it’s not imminent. It won’t take place during the current series and it may not be heard next week while the Orioles are in New York.

Also, the appeal won’t be heard by Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, or Joe Garagiola, Jr., the senior vice president of standards and on-field operations.

“If you look at the precedent for situations like this, we feel like and Manny feels like it’s a little strong,” Showalter said.

“It’s not like you can pick the date and take the suspension. ‘OK, he’s suspended and we’ll take it in September.’ You can’t do that. That’s not the way it’s designed. Once they render a decision, it’s right away.”

The Orioles won’t need an infielder this week with Machado staying on the roster.

Nothing has changed with catcher Matt Wieters. He’s got an appointment Monday with Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. and the club is bracing for bad news.

The two options are resuming his throwing program or undergoing season-ending surgery.

“That’s another one of those where I know a little bit more than I’m going to talk about, but I don’t want to say something that’s not honest,” Showalter said. “He’s still got a chance. I think we’re all curious to see what Dr. Andrews is going to say.

“We’ve got it set up both ways. If he returns to us and gets right back into his program, or proceeds with the other options, which I have trouble saying out loud. There’s really only two options here.”

Showalter was asked whether he’s comfortable having Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley as his catchers, with Steve Clevenger only a phone call away at Norfolk, if Wieters is done for the year - a question that amused him, considering how it put him on the spot.

“What am I supposed to say, no? ‘No, we better go get an All-Star catcher right away, just like Matt,’” Showalter said.

“Yes. And I am. I think they’ve done a good job, all things considered. And I’m not even talking about (Norfolk’s) Brian Ward. We tried real hard to create some depth here at catcher, evidenced by the draft last year, and we think we have some of that coming.

“We’ve got some things to pick from, and that’s really been a challenge for us the last few years. We always said, ‘What if Matt, what if Matt? What are we going to do?’ Here we are.

“I hope that we get some good news on Monday, but you better prepare like you’re not.”

Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Monday night’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The other two spots are to be announced.

Jake Odorizzi, Erik Bedard and Alex Cobb are scheduled to start for Tampa Bay.

Miguel Gonzalez is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday and could make his next start in St. Petersburg, Fla. or stay on his injury rehab assignment. It’s still up in the air.

Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in four starts at Tropicana Field, and Showalter certainly is aware of it.

Triple-A Norfolk knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for exogenous testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Gamboa, who is 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) for the Tides, is effective immediately.

Gamboa was scheduled to start tonight, but he’s been replaced by Chris Jones.

“I knew about it this morning,” Showalter said. “I kind of know obviously a little more than I’m going to talk about today, but he had applied for some things that got turned down. There’s a lot of sidebars this stuff, but it still is what it is. It’s a violation of the policy set down by baseball.

“He really emerged. I know some people are going to make comments about a knuckleball guy and the connection with whatever. They’re missing the point on why. Obviously, I know a lot more about why and looking into it. (Gamboa) was getting close to... He was on the radar here, so it’s unfortunate.”

Another converted knuckleballer, UMBC product Zach Clark, was released today.

“Tough day for knuckleballers,” Showalter said.

“He’s a good young man and he’ll do well. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the road he doesn’t stay in the organization. But we went down a pretty long road with it.

“Kind of sad, but I feel good that we gave him an opportunity to go down that road, trying to find some way, because he possessed a lot of things it takes to pitch in the big leagues other than actual stuff.”

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