Good news for the Orioles. According to ESPN’s Stephania Bell, Manny Machado was cleared for some baseball activities yesterday after he had his surgically-repaired left knee evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.
Machado was put through extensive testing, as well as treadmill running, squats, jumps and agility maneuvers. ElAttrache cleared him to hit, field ground balls, and run, but he’ll be eased into more intense game-like situations.
When Machado underwent surgery in October to repair a torn medial patellofemoral ligament, it was believed that he would need 4-6 months of rehab time, but it was reported earlier this month that he was 6-8 weeks ahead of schedule. There’s still no clear timetable for his return and being ready for Opening Day isn’t the end-all and be-all, but things are sounding promising at the moment.
Machado, 21, hit .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI over 156 games in his first full season in the majors last year. He won a Gold Glove Award for his defense at third base.
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. It’s the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.
Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.
Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.