When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles before the non-waiver trade deadline, they were hoping to have added one of the best players in all of baseball in the midst of a career season.
While Machado has been solid in his short time with the Dodgers, he hasn’t quite been able to perform at the high level that he did during the first half of the season with Baltimore.
In 58 games with the team going into play Sunday, Machado is batting .264/.332/.477 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. With only a week’s worth of games left in the regular season and a potential postseason appearance on the horizon, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts deemed it imperative for Machado to get hot at the plate for the team to have success, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“No. 1 is Manny saying to himself, ‘I need to get going,’ that’s most important,” said manager Dave Roberts. “Behind that, yeah, we need to get him going. The question is, how? It’s more about staying in the strike zone. One component is still learning the league, which is fair. There’s another component about trying not to do too much, and I think he might be victim of that.”
Roberts moved Machado from third to fourth in the order for Saturday night’s game against the San Diego Padres, and it seemed to do wonders. Machado hit a big three-run home run, hit 36th of the season and 12th with the Dodgers to give him 100 total RBI on the season between Baltimore and Los Angeles.
The Dodgers have had one of the best offenses in baseball in the second half, which is saying something considering Machado hasn’t been at his best. If he starts to heat up, then Los Angeles could be a very dangerous team that opposing pitchers will not want to face in the playoffs.