5 Baltimore Orioles key to team’s second-half success

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 02: Kevin Gausman
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 02: Kevin Gausman /
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Manny Machado
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 13: Manny Machado /

3. Manny Machado, 3B

Since we are speaking of guys with low averages and great defense, no need to go any further than across the diamond to Davis’ infield mate, Manny Machado.

Machado is hitting a rough .230 for his standards, 48 points below his career batting average. Now, his on-base and slugging percentages are not as far off of his career averages. And, some of the peripheries are not far off his averages either.

However, Machado has already struck out 72 times, putting him well on pace to break his previous high of 120. His power numbers are not far from where they should be, but he has only scored 38 runs while hitting either second or third in the order.

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Some of this can be blamed on those hitting behind him (see Davis), but Machado has struggled offensively. Machado has been considered a top player in baseball. However, in 2017, his runs above average is a meager three.

In 2016 it was 40. In 2015, it was 42.

His dWAR is 0.6, and his oWAR is 1.2. So, overall he has been a starter level player. But, nowhere near the All-Star caliber player, he has been in the past.

The Orioles need their All-Star to get back to that level.

Visually, his defense has been spectacular. But, even those statistics aren’t as kind. Last season, in 114 games, Machado made seven errors at third base.

In 2017, Machado has nine errors in 83 games. Is his offense affecting his defense? Maybe.

The Orioles need Machado to help carry this team, whether he is at third base or is moved to shortstop with J.J. Hardy out.

Right now, he isn’t doing it.