For the past couple weeks, Machado has been cleared for all baseball activities fielding except fielding balls side to side. He will meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, Machado's surgeon, one last time before the start of spring training in order to receive full clearance. Manager Buck Showalter said he liked what he saw from Machado, but noted that the speed of games will offer Machado another challenge.
"It's been a while since I've felt this healthy," Machado said. "My body feels great. My mind is clear, and I'm excited to get back out there. I'm itching actually. I haven't been itching like this for spring training since my first year of pro ball. I'm just excited to get everything rolling.
"I've been waiting to catch grounders. I could do it. I just haven't really decided to catch grounders. I've just been working on my hand-eye coordination and my glove work."
For the second year in a row, Machado's season was cut short by knee surgery. He hit .278/.324/.431 over 327 at-bats in 2014. It remains to be seen if he'll be limited come spring training.
"I get a lot of feedback on him and about him," Showalter said. "I don't sit here and go down a list. I'm going to leave him alone. I asked (third base coach) Bobby Dickerson on the phone today, and he said it's the best he's felt in a long time right now. It's good to hear.
"He's probably not real happy about having to make the trek over here. He doesn't have to make the trek. It's completely voluntary. That's what I told him on the phone."
Machado had right knee surgery in August and Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery in June.
"With both of these guys, it will be when and not if. I think if you held a gun up to my head, I think Manny makes the start of the year, and I think Matt is very close thereafter, but we won’t put either one of these guys on the field until it’s time to go, and try to keep the finish line in mind," Showalter said.
Manager Buck Showalter said he expects both players to be fully healed by next season, but added that the club will prepare as though neither player will be around. Machado had knee surgery in August. Wieters is coming off June Tommy John surgery.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/5/2014 vs Detroit|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
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| 9 || 10 |
| 12 |
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| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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