After a successful weekend on a minor league rehab assignment in High-A Frederick, the Orioles are planning to activate third baseman Manny Machado from the disabled list on Tuesday, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
#Orioles planning to activate Machado today. Weather in Baltimore questionable.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 29, 2014
As anyone who lives in the Baltimore area and has stepped outside has noticed, there's a bit of rain in the area, so there may not even be a game to put him in. Even if they do play, it's hard to imagine they would want to put Machado out on a messy field right out of the gate, so he might get eased back in as the designated hitter. He played at DH in Frederick over the weekend when the fields were poor as well.
Machado being activated so soon seems to show that, despite their talk about getting him a sufficient number of at-bats to get back up to game speed, the Orioles were really just concerned about making sure Machado's knee was all the way healthy. They must have liked what they saw and the feedback they got from Machado afterwards.
Last season, Machado played in every game for the Orioles before his injury, and in every inning of all of those games except for the one where he was ejected by a rookie home plate umpire who had a terrible strike zone. The infield defense is a patchwork at best without him. Poor Jonathan Schoop has simply looked overmatched at third base at times.
Whether Machado's bat will be up to speed right away is another question. There's no doubt the Orioles need him as soon as they can get him back. If that's going to be today, that's great. They may yet wait until the rain goes away to make the roster move, which could take until Thursday, but it seems likely that the next Orioles game, whenever it is, will have Machado in the lineup. Life is good in Birdland.