“I’ll take as many [at-bats] as I can get,” Machado said. “I haven’t played in a long time. As much as I can get, I’ll take it. I’m pumped for spring. I’m pumped to play some games. I want to get out there and play as much as I can. If I need to go on extra road trip games, I’ll go. If I have to stay back, I’ll stay back. No matter what, I’m just excited to play.”
Machado said he hasn't had any setbacks in his recovery from knee surgery and remains hopeful of being ready by opening day.
“I think everything has been going smooth, knock on wood,” Machado said. “Everything’s been going good. I’ve just got to keep my strength up. I’ve got two brand new knees now, so it’s just time to go out there and play and keep do what I’ve been doing, stay on it.”
Machado is coming off August knee surgery, while Bunday made nine starts in the minors in 2014 returning from Tommy John surgery. Although, he pitched just 41 1/3 innings last year.
"I have a lot of time to get ready. That is the key: having a regular offseason," Machado said Saturday. "Was doing my rehab in Sarasota and then went to Miami to do my regular weightlifting and get ready for the season. Been exciting. Looking forward to spring training."
Machado has taken part in baseball activities for the past few weeks since having surgery on Aug. 27 after tearing a ligament in his knee.
"It will be awesome," he said of the prospect of having a normal spring. "I'm dying to get back on the field. Spring training is key for a lot of players to get your at-bats and your reps. I think some take it for granted but it's a very big key for success for the year."
Machado hit .278 in 2014 with 12 home runs and 32 RBI for Baltimore.
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."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/5/2014 vs Detroit|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
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| 8 |
| 9 || 10 |
| 12 |
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| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
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|Postseason Batting Stats|
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