Orioles All-Star third baseman Manny Machado took the field for game action for the first time this season Friday night. He was playing for High-A Frederick Keys to begin his rehab assignment. His return was met with huge fanfare as the team's official website called it "Manny Mania."
He did not disappoint.
Machado would strike out in his fourth and final at-bat, but prior to that he went double, triple, double (MiLB.com). So 3-for-4 with two runs and seven total bases? I'd call that a success.
Machado served as DH instead of playing third base because rain was in the forecast. And it did rain. And Machado signed autographs because he's such a nice guy. See?
Machado is scheduled to stay with Frederick for the entire weekend and then could move up to Double-A or even Triple-A. Absent setbacks, it's possible Machado returns to the Orioles in the first week of May.
After a late September injury, Machado, 21, had to undergo offseason knee surgery to repair his MPFL rupture. Last season, he hit .283/.314/.432 (101 OPS+) with 14 homers, 71 RBI, 88 runs and an AL-best 51 doubles. He also won the Platinum Glove, which was given to the best defensive player in each league.