With the news being broken on Friday, the Baltimore Orioles officially announced yesterday that Manny Machado will require season ending knee surgery. For the second straight season, while approaching the end of the year, the O’s have lost their franchise third baseman.
After spraining a tendon in his knee, Machado was placed on the 15-day DL and was set to return this week. As his return date got closer and closer, things seemed less and less likely Machado would be able to actually return once he was available. Then, things took an even worse turn as it was announced Machado would not be back for the entire season.
The O’s have been able to keep their heads above water without Machado, especially while holding a nine game division lead, but the loss is a major blow to the Orioles World Series hopes.
The Orioles have gone the entire season without their star catcher Matt Wieters and now they lose another star. For the O’s to have the season they’ve had this whole year and to continue it through the postseason without two of their top players is incredibly impressive.
Not only is the injury a blow to this season, but it makes things wary looking in to the future. This is the second straight year Machado has suffered a major knee injury, which is hard to come back from even once. The chronic injuries could be something we see multiple times throughout his career, although hopefully this is the worst of it.
The O’s have gotten solid play out of both Steve Pearce and Delmon Young who now will be seeing playing time in almost every AL game. Pearce will likely remain in the number two spot in the lineup, replacing Machado, while Young will likely be in the five hole.
While Machado had been hitting really well as of late, where the Orioles will miss him the most is in the field. Chris Davis will likely be the usual third baseman from now on and even though his play has been solid, he definitely will not be able to replace the outstanding fielding of Machado.
The O’s finish their series against the Cubs this afternoon and are looking to avoid a sweep against the struggling Cubs.