Whatever is ailing the Orioles offense of late, it’s probably safe to say that the solution to that problem is NOT to have Manny Machado on the bench. If they are going to break out of their slump on Wednesday night against the Yankees, however, they will have to do so without Machado.
The obvious answer that jumps out is that Machado has probably gotten sick with the same illness that’s now keeping Chris Davis out of the lineup for a third consecutive game.
UPDATE: It’s now confirmed that Machado is sick as well. He has not been at the ballpark all afternoon and is only coming there to be checked out by the doctor. (end update)
That same illness has also reached manager Buck Showalter, with Orioles beat writers indicating that Showalter may not even serve as the O’s manager for the game.
Which, even if there’s an explanation for it, doesn’t make this lineup look any better:
- Joey Rickard - RF
- Jonathan Schoop - 2B
- Adam Jones - CF
- Mark Trumbo - 1B
- Pedro Alvarez - DH
- J.J. Hardy - SS
- Nolan Reimold - LF
- Ryan Flaherty - 3B
- Caleb Joseph - C
And they will have to score runs off of Michael Pineda in support of Yovani Gallardo. Well... good luck? Note a lack of Matt Wieters, again, as he is still day-to-day after being hit in the foot by a pitch from Ivan Nova in Monday’s game.
Team slumps are going to happen even to very good offensive teams like the Orioles. They are certainly mired in such a slump now. If a nasty bout of the flu is making its way through the clubhouse, that could be one explanation for the inexplicably poor performance on this road trip to date.
In one sense, that’s good, if it presents a reason for the slump that will clear itself up eventually. It’s also not good because in the meantime the Orioles are still losing games against a mediocre team that are no fun at all to watch.