Carlos Gonzalez could be shut down with hamstring injury

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Losers of nine straight games entering play tonight, the Rockies are *literally limping to the finish line.

Carlos Gonzalez is out of the starting lineup tonight for the sixth time in the past seven games due to a strained left hamstring. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Gonzalez underwent an MRI today and could potentially be shut down for the rest of the season.

Gonzalez grounded into a fielder’s choice during a pinch-hit appearance yesterday, after which he told Owen Perkins of MLB.com his hamstring was “not very good.” The Rockies are buried in last place in the National League West at 58-94, so there’s little reason to bring him back if he’s not making progress.

While we might not see Gonzalez again this year, Troy Tulowitzki could head into the offseason with some peace of mind. The 27-year-old shortstop took batting practice before tonight’s game and remains on track to be activated for the final couple games of the regular season. He hasn’t played a game with the Rockies since May 30 due to a groin injury which required surgery.

*Seriously, try using “literally” in a sentence without thinking about Chris Traeger. It’s impossible.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.