Orioles’ Manny Machado homers his way to history in first four games

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Based on his modest numbers in the minors it seemed like a questionable decision for the Orioles to promote Manny Machado from Double-A to the majors just a month after his 20th birthday, but there’s nothing questionable about his first taste of the big leagues.

Machado went 2-for-4 with a triple in his MLB debut, homered twice in his second game, went 1-for-4 with a double in his third game, and homered again in his fourth game yesterday. Finally tally through four career games: 6-for-16 (.375) with three homers, five total extra-base hits, seven RBIs, five runs, and a 1.500 OPS.

Not bad for a guy who hit .266 with 11 homers and a .789 OPS in 109 games at Double-A.

Via the Baseball-Reference.com search tools: Machado is just the 12th player in MLB history with three or more homers in his first four career games, but amazingly four of those 12 have come this season with Will Middlebrooks, Yoenis Cespedes, and Yasmani Grandal joining Machado.

The all-time record for homers in a player’s first four games is four and it’s held by … Mike Jacobs. Of course.

UPDATE: In his first week as a big leaguer Machado was named the American League’s co-player of the week with Adrian Gonzalez.

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

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Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.