Padres star Manny Machado has sat out the past two games after being hit by a Brad Keller pitch on Monday. While initial x-rays came back negative, manager Bob Melvin told reporters this evening that a CT scan revealed a tiny fracture in Machado’s left hand (relayed by Kevin Acee and Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune).
For the moment, Machado remains day-to-day. Melvin noted there’s a possibility the third baseman will be able to play through the injury. San Diego has an off day tomorrow and figures to reevaluate Machado prior to Friday’s series opener with the Red Sox. Injured list stints can be retroactive up to three days, so the Friars could put backdate an IL placement to May 16 if it’s determined he’ll need a week or more to recover.
That’s obviously the outcome for which San Diego will hope, though it’d be suboptimal for Machado to play through an issue that could theoretically have an adverse effect on his power. Machado has been off to a middling start even before the injury. Through 170 plate appearances, last year’s NL MVP runner-up is hitting .231/.282/.372 with only five home runs.
Machado’s lack of production has contributed to a disappointing start for the club. San Diego lost two of three against Kansas City, dropping them to 20-24. They’re eight games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and only one win up on the last-place Rockies. The Padres entered play Wednesday 27th in the majors in runs scored and in the bottom half of the league in each of batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. Even in light of their pitcher-friendly home ballpark, that’s a remarkably surprising placement for a lineup that includes Machado, Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts and, for the past few weeks, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Over the past couple days, San Diego has kicked Ha-Seong Kim over from second to third base. Rougned Odor has picked up the stray starts at the keystone and could see additional playing time if Machado does hit the IL. The veteran infielder is hitting only .154/.254/.250 over 59 plate appearances after breaking camp out of Spring Training following an offseason minor league deal.