TORONTO - Orioles manager Buck Showalter initially said he would prefer not to comment on Manny Machado’s four-game suspension until it became official and had been announced by Major League Baseball.
But thanks to the ability to see an e-mail from MLB on a cell phone, reporters saw it become official today before his pregame media session ended. Another two minutes and the skipper would have gotten away. But the announcement came out and Showalter provided his reaction.
MLB’s announcement read in part: “(Yordano) Ventura has received a nine-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Machado and fighting. Machado has received a four-game suspension for charging the mound and fighting. Both players also received undisclosed fines for their roles in the bench-clearing incident.”
“We’ll see. We’ll go through the appeal process,” Showalter said. “I think we all knew, because of the precedent, that there would be some type of action. I’d have to have more knowledge of, show me a similar situation and what was the punishment. I’m more focused on the game tonight more than anything.
“I’ve already talked to Manny about it. We had an idea where it was going to be. He’ll handle it well. And his teammates, more importantly, are looking forward to trying to pick up the slack whenever we go without him.”
Showalter was asked his thought on Ventura’s nine-game suspension.
“That is MLB’s business and Kansas City’s business,” Showalter said. “We are through playing them unless we both get in the playoffs. I think there is enough being said about it and they certainly don’t need me weighing in on it. I know playing at 24 (a man short on the roster) in the big leagues is punishment enough. But they are trying to do things to make people police their own to keep that from happening.”
Showalter said he did not expect Machado’s appeal to be heard during this current series against Toronto.
Before the announcement was made today but after news had gotten out about a four-game suspension for Machado, the Orioles shortstop had this reaction:
“We’ll see what happens,” Machado said. “Obviously, I’m appealing it and we’ll see what happens. They came up with a decision and obviously that’s why we’re going to appeal it and see what happens going on forward. That’s the decision they made and I’m obviously going to have to deal with it and see what happens.
“It’s obviously going to suck that I’m going to be out. We’re going to be down a guy with only 24 on the roster. It’s going to be tough. I know I’m going to deal with the consequences and I have faith in my teammates that they’re going to come up and help me out and step up and do what they have to do to keep winning some games and keep doing what they have to do.
“This is what makes a team,” Machado said. “In tough situations, people have got to step up and do what they have to do and I think we have a great group, and that’s what they know how to do around here. Everybody is going to have to step up and do what they need to, the part they need to.”
Showalter confirmed today that Yovani Gallardo’s next start will be a minor league rehab outing Monday for Triple-A Norfolk at Charlotte. He will leave here on Sunday. Gallardo will have a side session here tomorrow and the Orioles hope that leads to his return to the rotation on the for the Orioles on the 18th at home vs. Toronto.
“Just felt like one more (rehab start) would be good for him,” Showalter said. “He’s real close. See how his workday goes tomorrow, but we think that is the most prudent thing to do with his injury and making sure he has some of that doubt out of his mind too.”
Gallardo has made two rehab outings thus far, one for Single-A Frederick and one for Norfolk. He has pitched a combined eight innings allowing 11 hits and six runs.
Catcher Caleb Joseph will take batting practice and start throwing on the 14th and then have a follow up appointment with doctors the next day. Showalter said the earliest he could catch, if all things continue to progress well, would be on the 28th. Joseph had testicular surgery May 30 after taking a foul tip to the groin.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy did well today in Sarasota, Showalter said, with work in the cage, some batting practice and taking some ground balls. He continues to progress well.