Orioles' Manny Machado ready for spring training after knee surgery
After his second knee operation in a less than year, Manny Machado thinks he'll be ready to play when the Baltimore Orioles start spring training next month.
The dynamic 22-year-old third baseman participated in batting practice and running drills Wednesday at the team's spring training headquarters during the final session of the Orioles' three-day minicamp.
"My goal was just to come out here and show them that I'm ready to go," he said.
Machado hit .283 with 14 homers, 51 doubles and 71 RBI in his first full season in 2013, when he was picked for the American League All-Star team and earned a Gold Glove. He tore a left knee ligament that Sept. 23 when he stepped awkwardly on first base in a game at Tampa Bay and needed surgery.
Machado returned May 1 and batted .278 with 12 home runs and 32 RBI. He was suspended for five games after throwing his bat against Oakland on June 8 following consecutive high-and-tight pitches from Fernando Abad.
Machado's season ended Aug. 11 when he tore a ligament in his right knee while swinging during a plate appearance against the New York Yankees. He had surgery 16 days later.
"Right now, I feel like I'm ready to go come spring training. I'm ready to roll -- finally have a spring training," Machado said. "I haven't had one in a while. That's the first thing that's on my mind. Hopefully, I'll be ready if nothing comes up."
Manager Buck Showalter asked Machado to drive over from his offseason home in Hialeah.
"Manny looked good today. Glad he came over," Showalter said. "Didn't have to. Appreciated him making the trek."
Machado married Yainee Alonso, the younger sister of San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso, during the offseason, and took off a month.
Machado said that when he came back, he felt "awesome."
"I felt great. My body was feeling great," he said. "I think that's why I'm in this position now that I could do what I've been doing, because I took that little time off and kind of let my body heal completely."
NOTE: RHP Suk-min Yoon, who was signed last year to a $5.75 million, three-year contract, will not be invited to big league spring training, Showalter said. The South Korean was a highly coveted free agent a year ago, and spent 2014 pitching for Triple-A Norfolk.