Manny Machado has struggled since returning from left knee surgery and Orioles manager Buck Showalter has dropped him to seventh in the order for tonight’s game against the Astros.
Machado has functioned exclusively as Baltimore’s No. 2 hitter since he was activated on May 1, but he’s batting just .224/.280/.296 over his first 25 games. While the 21-year-old has hit safely in 10 out of his last 11 games, he hasn’t shown much in the way of power and his patience is still a work in progress. This is his first start in the lower-third of the batting order since he was first called up late in 2012, but he surely won’t stick there for long if his production begins to pick up.
The Orioles are going with Steve Pearce as their No. 2 hitter tonight against right-hander Brad Peacock.