Perhaps more importantly than anything that will happen tomorrow at the annual FanFest held by the Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado will undergo a test on his right knee today. I’m not going to get into the medical specifics here because quite frankly I’m not a doctor and I have no clue what any of that means! However the testing will be done in the Los Angeles doctor’s office which performed Machado’s surgery, and it will test out the motions that his knee would in theory have to undergo in order for him to play third base in Baltimore – or anywhere.
The Orioles have said in a muted manner that if Machado’s tests are successful he could be cleared to begin baseball-related activities. While Machado is reported to be six to eight weeks ahead of schedule, that’s still a big IF. Keep in mind that Machado had a knee injury that was pretty severe. Again, I don’t claim to be a doctor, however I do know that knee injuries are tough to rehabilitate.
Ultimately we’ll soon find out exactly how good a chance there is that Machado is guarding the hot corner on Opening Day at Camden Yards. And if those chances diminish after today, where does that leave the O’s? My personal opinion is that Ryan Flaherty would slide over and cover third, as the Orioles do have some depth at second base with Jermile Weeks. However certainly that’s not a perfect fix, as the Orioles were penciling Flaherty in as the second baseman for this season.
The O’s remain optimistic that Machado will be ready to go, however the big test will come today. Following his appointment in the doctor’s office, Machado is expected to fly to Baltimore and will be on hand for tomorrow’s Fan Fest celebration at the Baltimore Convention Center.