The problems that have been ailing the Orioles over the last month and particularly over the last several days go far beyond who is manning the hot corner for them. Even so, it’s great news to see that Manny Machado is back in the Orioles lineup at third base for Monday’s series-opening game against the White Sox in Chicago.
The Orioles lost all four games in which Machado was out of the lineup. Now he’s back. Machado isn’t going to make up the difference of the 35 runs by which the Orioles lost those four games. It’s something, though.
Hopefully, the wrist problem that had him out of the lineup for several days is well enough for Machado to play well. His wrist bent funny and he got punctured by one of Andrew McCutchen’s spikes in Wednesday’s game against the Pirates. There’s always that fear about wrist injuries where power hitters are involved, and Machado with his .213/.289/.430 batting line hadn’t been lighting the world on fire anyway.
UPDATE: These aren’t really the words I want to read as Machado returns to the lineup:
Machado said swelling has gone but still some soreness in left wrist but he's in there tonight.— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) June 12, 2017
We have already seen the downside of a player trying to rush back from an injury too soon in what happened to Zach Britton earlier this year. Chris Tillman may well be an ongoing cautionary tale as well. Let’s hope that doesn’t end up happening with Machado as well. (end update)
The full Monday Orioles lineup behind Wade Miley:
- Seth Smith - RF
- Adam Jones - CF
- Manny Machado - 3B
- Mark Trumbo - DH
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Jonathan Schoop - 2B
- Trey Mancini - LF
- Welington Castillo - C
- J.J. Hardy - SS
They will be facing off against White Sox righty Mike Pelfrey, who is currently sporting an ERA under 4 for the first time since 2010.