Even with an underwhelming offseason that’s raised concerns among their fans, the Orioles received good news Thursday that could impact the start of the 2014 season.
According to local reports, third baseman Manny Machado is six to eight weeks ahead of schedule in rehabbing his surgically-repaired left knee after being examined by Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache in California. The advanced progress could leave the 21-year-old with a good chance of being ready for Opening Day when Baltimore hosts the world champion Boston Red Sox on March 31.
Machado underwent surgery on Oct. 13 after injuring his knee during a Sept. 23 game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. He is expected to arive in Sarasota ahead of the scheduled report date of Feb. 13 for pitchers and catchers.
Manager Buck Showalter has said that Machado will likely need to begin playing in spring games by the middle of March in order to have a real chance to be ready for the season opener.