While Manny Machado Soars, Baltimore Orioles Stumble

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL l22: Manny Machado
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL l22: Manny Machado /

The Baltimore Orioles suffered through a week in which they won just one game, their best player has continued to prove his worth in a contract year.

The Baltimore Orioles are slumping. We’ve covered this. They can’t hit, their defense is not great, their pitching is struggling at the worst of times.

It makes it appear that a Orioles’ fire sale is coming. Interestingly enough, there are two players on the team who are excelling right now.

One is Dylan Bundy. If you like small sample sizes, he currently ranks near the top among the American League including:

  • No. 4 in the AL in WAR for pitchers
  • No. 6 sixth in the AL for ERA
  • No. 3 in the AL in strikeouts
  • No. 2 in the AL for home runs allowed per nine innings pitched,
  • No. 4 in the AL for fielding independent pitching,
  • No. 6 in the AL for adjusted ERA and
  • No. 6  in the AL for adjusted pitching runs.

In reality, he is near the top in the league in losses.

The other, of course, is Manny Machado, who was named AL Co-Player of the week along with Sean Manaea, who no-hit the Boston Red Sox.

Manny currently leads the AL in WAR at 1.7 (which means he has a negative 0.4 WAR defensively, if you are keeping track)

His other noteworthy stats include:

  • No. 2 in batting average (.356) is second in the American League.
  • No. 6 for on-base percentage is sixth in the AL
  • No. 3 for slugging percentage
  • No. 4 forth AL in doubles
  • No. 2 to only Mike Trout in homers

Lastly, he currently leads the AL in extra-base hits, in times on base, runs created, adjusted batting runs, adjusted batting wins.

Yes, Machado is good at baseball.

Baltimore Orioles’ fans are truly witnessing one of the best players in the league. As we all know, he may not be an Oriole much longer. And, that isn’t his fault.

It isn’t his fault he deserves to be paid like one of the best in the game.

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It isn’t his fault that the Orioles gave so much money to Chris Davis that they likely can’t afford him.

However, it isn’t his fault that the Orioles never really tried to negotiate with his agent. Anyone who wants to fault Machado is blinded by their Oriole fandom. And that is okay.

But, next year at this time, even if the Orioles dig out of the hole and win the World Series, I can’t see Machado wearing black and orange.

And so, the question will become, when should the Orioles trade their superstar. His star may never get hotter than it is right now.

Machado had a blistering week, hitting five home runs and for a .500/.560/1.273 slash line in the last seven days. That is remarkable.

Two of those home runs came off of Corey Kluber, who he went 3-for-3 against. That is also pretty remarkable.

When Machado is ahead in the count, he is hitting .500 with four home runs, eight runs batted in and 12 hits. Pitchers, beware getting behind Machado.

Sure, he has struck out 15 times so far this season, but he has also walked 12 times.

Last year, Machado walked 50 times and struck out 115. Even in his best season, 2015, he walked 70 times and struck out 111.

So, his walk to strike out ratio is decreasing. As he becomes more selective, he will get better counts, and will continue to make pitchers pay.

Next: As Baltimore Orioles dismal start spirals, where do they go next?

Sure, each time Machado does something well, the cash register rings. But, don’t let that bother you any more.

Enjoy the star the Orioles have in Machado. There aren’t too many days left where Oriole fans will have the opportunity to root for him.