The Padres are placing third baseman Manny Machado on the 10-day injured list, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Machado had been recently diagnosed with a small fracture in his hand. Infielder/outfielder Brandon Dixon has been recalled in a corresponding move.
Machado was hit on his left hand by a pitch on Monday and initial X-rays came back negative, but a subsequent CT scan revealed the small fracture. The club took a few days to see how the issue developed but have evidently decided to give Machado a bit of a breather to let him heal up. IL placements can be backdated by three days, meaning Machado could be back in a week if he feels better by then.
The 30-year-old is off to a bit of a slow start this year, hitting just .231/.282/.372 through his first 170 plate appearances on the season. But he has a .263 batting average on balls in play for the year, well below his career mark of .300 and the .297 league average this year. Given his career batting line of .280/.339/.489, it would have been fair to expect some positive regression in the weeks to come but that will now have to wait.
It’s not entirely clear how long Machado will be sidelined. Manager Bob Melvin said this evening that Machado could be back when first eligible for a road series against the Yankees next weekend, via Annie Heilbronn of the Union-Tribune. There’s still some uncertainty regarding that timeline, though, as the primary issue is whether there’ll be too much pain for last year’s NL MVP runner-up to grip the bat.
While Machado has been out, the Friars have kicked Ha-Seong Kim over from second to third base. Rougned Odor stepped in at second base twice earlier in the week. Friday night, the Padres are plugging Dixon into the lineup at first base and moving Jake Cronenworth back to the keystone. Odor and Dixon figure to receive the biggest uptick in playing time for as long as Machado is out.
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