The signs have been there for the last couple of weeks that the Orioles would be opening up the season with third baseman Manny Machado on the disabled list. Manager Buck Showalter acknowledged as much on Sunday, telling Machado and then reporters that he won't be on the Opening Day roster because he'll be on the DL instead.
It seemed all but certain that Machado would not be active by March 31. After Machado was shut down from even running for a few days due to scar tissue in his knee, there seemed little chance that he could be healthy and ready for Opening Day. While he was cleared to resume all baseball activities in the last week, that's not enough time for him to get up to speed to play in the first game, now only eight days away.
Machado will be staying in Sarasota when the rest of the team heads north in order to continue his rehab.
The announcement probably means that Ryan Flaherty will be the Opening Day third baseman. If the second base competition is continuing without him, that leaves Jonathan Schoop as the player who has been getting all of the buzz. Schoop added another home run to his spring total on Sunday, tying the game in the ninth inning with a solo shot.
There's not any indication yet how long Machado will be on the disabled list, or if he will need a minor league rehab stint on top of the time he stays back in Sarasota. He will miss at least the first week of the season.
The team is purposefully having Machado avoid any major league spring games as he rehabs so that he can be placed on the disabled list retroactive to March 22, making him eligible to come off the DL as soon as April 6. If that's the case, he would only miss five games of the season.