MASH Report (1/20/14)

• Manny Machado is ahead of schedule for his return after having knee surgery in the fall. Some good bits of information are available  from the article.

First, he was supposed to be out four to six months. Right now he is at three month point and looks to return earlier than expected.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado underwent a checkup on his surgically repaired left knee Thursday in California and, according to an industry source, it went well and doctors told the 21-year-old that he was six to eight weeks ahead of a normal recovery period …. Given ElAttrache’s prognosis, if things continue smoothly, the belief is Machado will be ready to play Opening Day.

Second, the date by which Machado needs to playing games and start in the season opener is set.

Showalter said earlier this month that Machado would need to be ready to play in spring games by about March 15 to be ready for Opening Day at Camden Yards on March 31.

As of now, it looks like he may only miss a couple weeks at most.

• Matt Adams stated he dealt with right elbow pain last season and it now feels fine. I have been down on Adams because his results began to decline as teams shifted him more at the end of the 2013 season. I am not sure when the elbow injury occurred, but he did seem to be affected by it in the season’s 2nd half. His power was down (.233 ISO to .209) and his strikeouts jumped (21.5% K% to 28%). With two factors pulling his value in different directions, I would just go with his basic projection and know it could jump significantly in either direction.

• Another player I haven’t been the highest on is Johnny Cueto. Back in May, he stated he may need to change his mechanics to limit abdomen injuries.

“This is part of the game, part of the sport,” Cueto said. “You can say maybe I do too much rotation. I’m going to have to see what’s going on. If that continues to happen, I’m going to have to change my mechanics.”

Mark Sheldon report in an interview (14 seconds) that the Reds are Cueto are not changing his “twist” delivery much.

I just don’t see him staying healthy as long as he keeps the twist.

• Allen Craig says he is 100%. Like other players with leg/ankle/foot injuries (ex. Kemp and Pujols), I want to see him run full speed before calling him 100% healthy.

• Brandon Morrow says he is healthy. OK, I will wait and see. One interest bit from the article was this:

“Whenever you have an injury, you’re compensating something else to make up for that. That’s ultimately why I couldn’t come back from this — the pain was there, yeah — but pain is one thing. When it’s altering your release point and you’re not able to locate the ball, that’s obviously the most important thing, that’s when I knew it wasn’t going to be possible to come back at that point, that I’d have to shut it down and go see Dr. Andrews.”

Such a nice little list of symptoms for a pitching injury.

• Oscar Taveras and the Cardinals management state he will be 100% going into spring training.

• Dallas Braden talked about how his shredded shoulder forced his retirement.

“There is nothing left in there, it’s just a shredded mess,” Braden said by phone. “I left my arm on the mound at the Coliseum, and I’m OK with that.” … Braden had been throwing all winter and was preparing to hold a showcase for teams this month, but after another recent setback, he had an MRI that showed too much damage to repair.

Possible Players on the DL to Start the 2014 Season

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
(****) Free Agent
Red colored entries are updates since last report.

Major League Report

Minor League Report

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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