UPDATE: The Orioles announced that Machado has a right knee sprain. That’s a vague diagnosis, but more on his status should be known after he’s reevaluated tomorrow.
8:47 a.m. ET: The high-profile injuries keep on coming, as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was forced to exit tonight’s game against the Yankees in the bottom of the third inning with an apparent injury to his right knee.
Machado suffered the injury after broke his bat on a swing. His right knee buckled and he fell on his back in obvious pain. He needed help getting off the field and down the dugout steps. You can watch it here.
Machado tore the medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee last September and underwent surgery one month later. He didn’t make his season debut until May 1 this year and got off to a slow start upon his return, but he had really taken off recently, hitting .345 with eight homers and 21 RBI over his last 35 games. Another serious knee injury would be quite a blow for the Orioles’ postseason hopes.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.