The opportunity does not come around often for fans of Minor League teams to get to see current Major League players at their local Minor League stadium, but when the chance is presented it is often in such a case as this weekend will be for fans of the Baltimore Orioles High-A affiliate Frederick Keys as Manny Machado will be at Harry Grove Stadium for the weekend as he begins his rehab assignment.
If you have never been to Harry Grove Stadium, it is a nice Minor League park with plenty to do for both the adults or kids in your group as they have a kids zone there and every seat gives fans a great view of the action. Ever since Machado played for the Keys during his Minor League career, the Keys team van has sported a picture of Machado on one side of it. We visited the Keys earlier this week after the announcement was made that Machado would begin his rehab assignment there and believe it or not, his picture is still on the van.
Machado is scheduled to play the full nine innings tonight and at third base, with the rest of the weekend being determined on what his needs are. Unfortunately for fans, tonight's game could be in jeopardy as the weather forecast does not look so good.
From what we are being told, it is likely, if all three games get played, that Machado would probably play in the field two of the three games and DH in one of them. Again, that could change as well if he is feeling great or feels he needs to take a day off.
The purpose of this rehab is simple, get him back into real game action, help him get his timing down at the plate, and see how the knee reacts in game situations when most of his actions will be purely reactive and not thinking. We will be playing close attention to how he runs the bases and how his lateral movement is in the field as those are the two most strenuous on the knee.
He has been playing in extended Spring Training games down in Sarasota, but it is impossible to recreate real game time situations, as we all know how Spring Training games are. Frederick will be playing the Cleveland Indians High-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats.
Orioles101 will be at the game on Saturday afternoon, which begins at 2:00 p.m. and we will be bringing you live coverage of Machado, both at the plate and defensively, if he is playing, as again, his weekend schedule is still to be determined. Follow us on Twitter @Orioles_101 for pictures and live updates on Machado and if you are attending, remember to 'Shake your Keys!"
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