Duquette still hoping Machado can be ready for opener

Duquette still hoping Machado can be ready for opener
October 15, 2013, 8:45 am
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Manny Machado surgery goes well, out 4-6 months

Orioles fans aren’t going to be satisfied until they see Manny Machado make the first breathtaking play of 2014 at third base.

After Machado’s left knee surgery on Monday, the Orioles announced that his recovery period was expected to be six months. That would put it at Apr. 15, about two weeks into next season.

When it was announced last Thursday that Machado had elected to have surgery, the timeframe was four-six months.

Fans immediately decided Machado would be ready for Opening Day and couldn’t wait to cheer him as he ran down the orange carpet. He still may do so, but probably won’t be playing.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is confident Machado’s recovery will be a brisk one, saying he expecting the 21-year-old to work on his rehabilitation with “vigor.”

It probably won’t change the Orioles plans much. Ryan Flaherty and Danny Valencia can handle third base for a few weeks if necessary. Brian Roberts or Jonathan Schoop can play second, and maybe 2014’s version of Yamaico Navarro will be on the roster until Machado returns.

Manager Buck Showalter is likely to go the conservative route with Machado, who’s probably going to lobby to play sooner rather than later.

On March 31, the Orioles will probably have Nick Markakis or J.J. Hardy or maybe Adam Jones batting second, and Machado batting there shortly afterward.

Duquette would dearly love to see Machado there against the Boston Red Sox.

“If he’s not, it’s not the end of the world,” Duquette said.