There is a case of good news/bad news in Baltimore right now.
The good news is that, after missing two games post hamstring tweak, shortstop J.J. Hardy has returned from his injury. Hopefully he can get back on track–he has yet to homer this year in 62 at-bats.
Manny Machado–currently at the start of his minor-league rehab assignment–has been making good progress. As of now, he is at Class A Frederick and may potentially return this week from the DL after suffering that horrible knee injury at the end of last year.
One other note of good news is that the O’s have moved into second place, 2.5 games behind the New York Yankees. But don’t get too excited, because only 4.5 games separate the Yankees from the last place Tampa Bay Rays. Plus it’s still April, so yeah, don’t get too excited.
Now for the bad news. The O’s have officially placed first baseman Chris Davis on the DL with an oblique injury. As it stands now, that would put his return on May 11, but there is still some question as to when he will actually return.
Interestingly enough, the O’s put their everyday right fielder Nick Markakis at first during the final two games against the Kansas City Royals, and he responded right away, going two for five on Saturday with a walk-off single that scored the winning run in the 10th inning. Markakis then went one for three the following day with a walk.
One more piece of good news is the fact that the O’s have managed to post a 12-12 record and be in second place without having fielded their normal roster. Provided Machado comes back when expected and no one else gets hurt, When Davis comes back in mid-May–provided Machado comes back when expected and no one else gets hurt–they will have their lineup at full force for the first time in 2014. If they can hang around the American League East leaders until then, things will certainly get interesting in a good way for the O’s.
Now if they can only get their pitching staff in order….
by Andy Mindzak