Manny Machado led the American League with 51 doubles last season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
One of the most exciting young players in baseball may not be ready for Opening Day.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who hasn't played yet this spring, experienced a setback in his recovery from a surgically repaired knee, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter announced on Saturday, but the skipper is holding out hope the 21-year-old can make a speedy recovery.
"I wouldn't say very, very difficult," Showalter said about Machado's chances of playing Opening Day against the Red Sox. "In four days we can get Manny more plate appearances than guys over here are going to break camp with. ... I'm not there yet. I'm not going to throw that wet blanket over that yet. I know Manny's not."
REPORT: Manny Machado 'disappointed' with new contract from Orioles
Machado's progress has been slowed by scar tissue in the knee. He was scheduled to be examined on Tuesday, but since he is not yet running, the Orioles postponed the appointment.
"There's no sense in doing [the appointment] until he can really show them what he can do running," Showalter told MLB.com on Saturday. "So that's got to get cleared up first, where he's back running again. And then he can completely clear him again."
Machado was an All Star and a Gold Glove Award winner in his first season in the majors last year. He hit .283 with 14 home runs and 71 RBIs in 156 games. He injured the knee running the bases on Sept. 24 at Tampa Bay.
SI WIRE: Cubs SS Starlin Castro's return from hamstring injury indefinitely delayed