CHICAGO – The Orioles went through a huge trauma when Manny Machado injured his left knee. Now, less than a year later, they’re hoping for the best with news that he’ll be undergoing surgery on his right knee.
“Probably felt like there was potential for that happening at some point in his career. So it doesn't surprise you. It’s one of those things, I don't get into that ‘woe is me’, you can’t get into that mentality when we’ve played 40, 50 games without him…We’d like to have him, but life goes on. Baseball goes on. It’s not uncharted territory for this team that’s been playing without people that on paper were going to be with us,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I think he held some things close to the vest. We felt like he was making some baby steps toward it. And once he kind of weighed in and told us some things that were a little different towards what the perception was.”
Matt Wieters went on the disabled list May 11 and had Tommy John surgery a month later, and them has continued to prosper.
“I don’t know if it’s confidence. It’s just reality. What are you going to do, say stop? I want to get off? There’s another game today, another game tomorrow. This game has a strange way of finding unexpected heroes. It’s another opportunity that opens up for somebody, is the way I’d look at it,” Showalter said.
Chris Davis will continue to see time at third and Steve Pearce at first.
Entering the game, the Orioles were 26-18 without Machado.
“We've been able to field a very competitive team this year in spite of our injuries and our team has been competitive because our players step up. Manny hasn't been with us for part of our schedule and our team has been competitive, and we aim to keep our team competitive with the players that we have, and if we can address it with some other solutions so that we can continue our goal to make the playoffs,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
Duquette has until Aug. 31 to add a player from outside the organization who can be eligible for the postseason.
"There's a very limited pool of players that are available this time of the year because a lot of players' contracts don't get through the trade waiver process, so it's a very limited pool, but I think we have some pretty good depth in-house and we've had some players step up like Steve Pearce and do a good job and we're going to continue to need players to step up in this situation,” Duquette said.
Davis, who again started at third on Saturday, admitted to being surprised by the news that Machado’s season was over.
“I was, but I don’t any of us really knew. He was going to go on the DL, he’ll do his rehab, he’ll be back. Last year was a little bit different because it was such a dramatic injury, seeing him being carted off the field, we’re like, ‘man, this may be a while,’” Davis said. “We’re disappointed, but at the same time we know he’s going to bounce back. The biggest thing is for him is just to be healthy.”
The Orioles will have to cut a player on Sunday when Miguel Gonzalez returns. There is a possibility that Cord Phelps, who’s an extra infielder could be the player to go, temporarily leaving the Orioles with 13 pitchers. Showalter said the Machado news is unlikely to impact the club’s plans.
Even though the team is better with Machado, Duquette is hoping this surgery will prevent Machado from further injury woes.
“Ideally, you'd like players to be healthy for the full season and Manny hasn't been able to get through his first two full campaigns. Hopefully, these surgeries will address the issue so that when he comes back he will be able to see it through a full season,” Duquette said.
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