SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has seen plenty of spring action, playing in his eighth game Thursday afternoon and making nearly all of the team's road trips in his first big league Spring Training.
"It's OK, I like going on the road," said Machado, who made the jump from Double-A to the Majors last season and, despite being the team's projected starter, has seen plenty of time on the bus this spring. "My thing is just to play. I just want to go out there and play and get my at-bats and get ready for the season.
[Manager Buck Showalter] always tries to keep me level-headed, that's for sure. He always kept me there [last year]; he called me in his office and talked to me a couple times. He's always tried to keep me humble."
Machado was in camp unofficially last year, coming over from the Minor League side nearly every day, and while Showalter has done some strategic substitution -- leaving Machado in an inning longer than the other starters at home -- he said Thursday it was not all about the 20-year-old paying his dues.
"I want him to get in as many reps at third base as he can," Showalter said of Machado, who still has a shortstop's mentality on relays and bunts. "This is still somewhat new to him; any chance he can get to continue to develop his clock over there [at third] is good for him. It's got nothing to do with him being new or a rookie or whatever. Maybe a tad, but it's also got something to do with every chance we get him for him to play third base at Major League speed, I'm going to take advantage of it."
Machado -- who was scheduled to leave Thursday's game early to get a root canal -- will miss Friday's road contest, with Showalter wanting him to go to Fort Myers on Saturday instead to face Red Sox starter Felix Doubront.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.