By Geoff Bloom of Beondeck.com, 1010kxps.com and the RHLReport.com
In a surprise move last Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles called up Manny Machado to take over most of the time at third base while Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds split time at first base. Machado had an awesome four-game series against Kansas City to begin his career. He got a hit in all four games as he went 6 for 16 with five runs scored, a double, triple and three homers to go with seven RBI. I wasn’t completely convinced Machado was ready to see full time action with his .266 batting average with Double-A Bowie and his high strikeout rate.
Before we all crown Machado the AL Rookie of the Year, lets remember that he did all his damage against an extremely weak Kansas City Royals pitching staff. In his debut, he ripped a triple off Royals rookie left-hander Will Smith, the owner of a 5.48 ERA, and he hit his first home run off Luke Hochevar, the proud owner of a 5.85 ERA and Hochevar has given up 16 home runs this year in 132 innings. In addition to providing some power numbers, Machado should also be able to steal a few bases. He is definitely worth a pickup, but fantasy owners need to temper their expectations just a bit. We need a bigger sample size before we put Machado in the category with Mike Trout for American League Rookie of the Year.
In other fantasy news over the weekend….
- The growing confusion around Stephen Strasburg only grew over the weekend. The latest report written by Bill Ladson, is that Strasburg is “expected” to miss 2-3 regular starts. Regardless, Strasburg will not pitch in the postseason.
- Adrian Gonzalez has found his swing since the All-Star break. In 28 games since the midsummer classic, Gonzalez is batting .393 with 35 RBI. On Sunday, he homered, doubled and drove in four runs against the Indians.
- Neil Walker went 5-for-5 with a home run, double and two RBI. The five-hit day was his second of the season.
- Johnny Cueto threw another gem with eight shutout innings in Chicago. Cueto improved his record to 15-6 and is certainly in the National League Cy-Young discussions.
- Aroldis Chapman earned a save for a third straight game. Chapman seemed unfazed with the heavy work load after he came in the ninth to record his 28th save. Chapman earned his 16th save in his last 16 opportunities.
- Josh Hamilton hit his Major League-leading 32nd home run for the third time in four games.
- Ryan Howard continued to heat up by homering for the third time in five games. Howard has gone 7-for-19 (.368) during this stretch with four runs scored, three home runs and eight RBIs.
- Freddie Freeman went 1-for-3, with two runs scored and he ripped a solo homer in Sunday’s loss to the Mets. With 75 RBIs, Freeman is one away from tying his total from all of last season. He has been good this season, but could be even better down the stretch.