The Baltimore Orioles announced today that Manny Machado will start the season on the 15-day disabled list as he continues to rehab his knee back into game shape. Machado injured his knee when he stepped awkwardly on first base late last season against the Tampa Bay Rays. However, Machado not being ready for opening day is actually a blessing in disguise for the Orioles.
With Machado sitting out until at least April 6, it gives Buck Showalter and the rest of the Orioles’ coaching staff the opportunity to play Ryan Flaherty at third base and Jonathan Schoop at second base. Schoop has been so impressive this spring that he may have taken the starting second base job away from Flaherty. But now Baltimore has the luxury of playing both players against major-league pitching for at least a week to determine who plays second base when Machado returns to the lineup.
It’s also not worth risking Machado’s future health just so he can play a few more games in April this season. Machado is a young player with plenty more seasons ahead of him and the Orioles have the depth on their roster to absorb this blow and still stay competitive. This decision isn’t only about the present it’s about the future of the team and Machado being 100 percent healthy before he takes the field is the best thing for the future of the Orioles and everyone involved.
David Atlas is an MLB writer for Rant Sports.