It was easy to think the worst when Manny Machado was carted off the field with a left knee injury last Monday at Tropicana Field, but no major ligament tears were found while Orioles team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens recommended rest and rehab for a torn medial patellofemoral ligament rather than surgery. The Orioles received more encouraging news today following a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.
Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Andrews agreed with the Orioles’ diagnosis. Machado will have his knee examined again in four weeks in order to get a sense of his progress from the injury, but the team is hopeful that he’ll be able to resume running in 6-8 weeks. If all goes well, he should have plenty of time to get ready for the start of the 2014 season.
Machado, 21, batted .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI during his first full season in the majors this year. His 51 doubles led the American League.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.