Baltimore Orioles’ fans held their collective breath on Monday night in the third inning when Manny Machado went down holding his knee after hitting a groundball. Nobody needs a reminder of Machado’s horrible knee injury at the end of last season and while the knee in question was not the same one, it was a scary moment for everybody interested.
Machado was helped off the field and was diagnosed with a sprained knee prior to receiving an MRI on Tuesday afternoon. After hours of waiting for a result, it was announced yesterday that Machado suffered a sprained ligament in his right knee, which was incredibly good news when given the significance of the situation.
Manny has been playing as well as anybody as of late, hitting .301 since the All-Star break, with three home runs and 12 RBI’s. Where Machado is unmatchable however is in the field.
While his diagnosis was good news for the Orioles, there is still bad news and that is that the Birds will be without Machado for at least the next 15 days. Machado was placed on the 15-day DL today, meaning the soonest he could return is against the Minnesota Twins on August 29.
In the meantime, you can expect to see a lot of Chris Davis at third base, especially while J.J. Hardy remains sidelined with a thumb injury. Hardy should be back soon and then the Orioles could move Davis back over to first if they so choose.
Fortunately for the Orioles, Machado was not lost for the duration of the season, especially in a year where the Orioles have the potential to beat anybody they would face in the postseason. The timing will work out well for the Birds if they can hold on to their 6.5 game lead in the AL East until Machado returns. Then, they will get him back for the month of September to bring the season to an end as they face a plethora of division opponents, and of course the playoffs.
Losing one of your best players is never a good thing, but this is about as good of news as the O’s could have hoped for. The chance of Machado missing no time at all was so slim so the next best thing is him missing limited time. I was confident for the last day and a half that Machado was done for the year so I know in my eyes this is a relief.
The O’s have the biggest division lead in all of baseball which hopefully will be enough to last them the next two weeks before they get back to full strength again. Machado will for sure be out for series’ against the Indians, White Sox, Cubs, and Rays.