The Baltimore Orioles are surely happy to have third baseman Manny Machado back healthy in the lineup. With Machado off to a slow start, however, the Orioles have decided to drop him down in the batting order.
The move is likely temporary. Ideally the Orioles would like to probably keep Machado as a staple in the second spot in their batting order, but for now they are going to hit him seventh with the hopes that he can heat up offensively.
D.J. Short of Hardball Talk passes on the following tidbits about the move:
“Machado has functioned exclusively as Baltimore’s No. 2 hitter since he was activated on May 1, but he’s batting just .224/.280/.296 over his first 25 games. While the 21-year-old has hit safely in 10 out of his last 11 games, he hasn’t shown much in the way of power and his patience is still a work in progress.”
Machado’s ability to deliver extra base hits will earn him back that spot near the top of the lineup eventually. This is likely a move to try and take some pressure off Machado so that he can get his swing back on track after missing the first bit of the season while he was rehabbing a knee injury.
The Orioles are trying to stick in the American League East as a team that can contend. The main area of concern that they will have to address is their pitching staff, but they will also need Machado to be himself so that their lineup is as formidable as it needs to be to matter.